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ASSE Foundation Announces Frank Tiralla’s Paper on Dangerous Fungus, Histoplasma Capsulatum, as Winner of Student Paper Competition

Posted in on Mon, May 23, 2011

The American Society of Safety Engineers’ Foundation (ASSEF) is pleased to announce this year’s recipient of the Student Paper Competition award is Frank Tiralla, a sophomore studying occupational safety and health at the Community College of Baltimore County (CCBC). He has ten years of experience as a Structural CADD drafter for Johnson, Mirmiran and Thompson, a civil engineering firm headquartered in Sparks, Maryland.

Tiralla’s paper, titled “Histoplasma capsulatum : An Examination of Histoplasma capsulatum Fungus, Associated Health Hazards, Occupational Safety Procedures and Sampling Methods,” examines the dangers of Histoplasma capsulatum through exploring its biology, where it occurs, exposure risks, medical implications, and how to obtain samples for industrial hygiene testing. Areas of concern for exposure to this fungus include poultry houses, caves, and areas where bats or birds congregate. This is because of high levels of bird and bat droppings, which provide an excellent environment for growth of the spores.

With respect to workplace safety, workers should be careful when working in conditions where risk is high for exposure to this fungus. The article explores the hazards associated with Histoplasma capsulatum, provides valuable information for workers regarding proper PPE and offers tips for staying safe on the job where exposure is possible.

The ASSE Foundation Student Paper Competition is sponsored in conjunction with ASSE’ Editorial Review Board. The top-ranked author receives $500, and a travel stipend to attend ASSE’s annual conference. The paper will also be considered by the Editorial Review Board for publication in Professional Safety.

The American Society of Safety Engineers Foundation, established by and in partnership with the American Society of Safety Engineers, generates funding and provides resources for scholarship, applied research, academic accreditation, and related academic initiatives in order to advance the safety, health, and environmental profession. For more information on the Foundation and its programs visit

Founded in 1911 and celebrating its centennial, the Des Plaines, IL-based ASSE is the oldest professional safety society and is committed to protecting people, property and the environment.  Its more than 33,000 occupational safety, health and environmental professional members lead, manage, supervise, research and consult on safety, health, transportation and environmental issues in all industries, government, labor, healthcare and education.  For more information, please go to and to view the new ASSE – A Century of Safety film go to




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