Robert N. Phalen, Ph.D., CIH, FAIHA
Professor and Program Chair of Occupational Safety and Health,
College of Science and Engineering
Robert N. Phalen, Ph.D., CIH, FAIHA is a professor of Occupational Safety and Health (OSHE) at University of Houston-Clear Lake. He received his doctoral degree in Environmental Health Sciences from the University of California, Los Angeles, specializing in industrial hygiene. Dr. Phalen is a Certified Industrial Hygienist (CIH) and Fellow of the American Industrial Hygiene Association. His primary research areas include industrial hygiene, personal protective equipment, ergonomics, and air quality. Dr. Phalen is a co-author of the book "Air Pollution Science: A Public Health Perspective," published by the American Public Health Association and Jones and Bartlett. He is also the senior editor of the upcoming 2022 revision of "Protective Gloves for Occupational Use" (CRC Press, Taylor and Francis).Curriculum Vitae
Areas of Expertise
Dr. Phalen has expertise in the comprehensive practice of industrial hygiene, with specific expertise in exposure assessment, indoor air quality, noise, personal protective clothing and equipment, and ergonomics.
Phalen, R.N. and Maibach, H.I. (Eds.) "Protective Gloves for Occupational Use," Third Edition, CRC Press (Taylor and Francis), In press.
Phalen, R.F. and Phalen, R.N., "Introduction to Air Pollution Science: A Public Health Perspective," Jones and Bartlett and American Public Health Association Press, November 10, 2011.
Selected Refereed Journal Articles (* corresponding author)
Nelson, D.I.*, Phalen, R.N.* (2022). Review of the performance, selection, and use of gloves for chemical protection. ACS Chemical Health and Safety DOI: 10.1021/acs.chas.1c00084.
Shless, J.S., Crider, Y., Pitchikc, H., Qazi, A.S., Styczynski, A., LeMesurier, R., Haik, D., LeBoa, C., Bhattacharya, A., Hamidi, Y.K.,* Phalen, R.N. (2022). Evaluation of the effects of repeated disinfection on medical exam gloves: Part 1. Changes in physical integrity. Journal of Occupational and Environmental Hygiene DOI: 10.1080/15459624.2021.2015072.
Phalen, R.N., Patterson, J., Cuadros Olave, J., Mansfield, S.A., Shless, J.S., Crider, Y., Pitchikc, H., Qazi, A.S., Styczynski, A., LeMesurier, R., Haik, D., LeBoa, C., Bhattacharya, A., Hamidi, Y.K.* (2022). Evaluation of the effects of repeated disinfection on medical exam gloves: Part 2. Changes in mechanical properties. Journal of Occupational and Environmental Hygiene DOI: 10.1080/15459624.2021.2015073.
Brown, B., Dubrovskiy, A.V., Gvetadze, A. and Phalen, R.N.* Chemical permeation of similar disposable nitrile gloves exposed to volatile organic compounds with different polarities 1. Product variation. Journal of Occupational and Environmental Hygiene. DOI:10.1080/15459624.2020.1721510.
Phalen, R.N.,* Dubrovskiy, A.V., Brown, B, Gvetadze, A., Bustillos, M. and Ogbonmwan, J. Chemical permeation of similar disposable nitrile gloves exposed to volatile organic compounds with different polarities 2. Predictive polymer properties. Journal of Occupational and Environmental Hygiene. DOI:10.1080/15459624.2020.1721511
Steele, K., Pelham, T. and Phalen, R.N.* Evaluating polymer degradation with complex mixtures using a simplified surface area method. Journal of Occupational and Environmental Hygiene, 14 (2017) 720 – 726. DOI: 10.1080/15459624.2017.1322208
Phalen, R.N., Cousins, K., Usher, T., Young, M., and Zhang, R.* Revising the formulization of the Narayanaswamy equation using the Adam-Gibbs theory. Journal of Non-Crystalline Polymers, 453 (2016) 59 – 65.
Phalen, R.N.* and Wong, W.K., Polymer Properties Associated with Chemical Permeation Performance of Disposable Nitrile Rubber Gloves. Journal of Applied Polymer Science, 132 (2015) 44149. DOI: 10.1002/app.41449
Courses (Current Academic Year)
- OSHE 3311 Industrial Health and Hygiene
- OSHE 4411 Noise and Hearing Conservation (with lab)
- OSHE 4413 Industrial Ventilation (with lab)
- OSHE 4315 Industrial Radiological Health
- OSHE 4321 Ergonomics, Human Factors, and Workplace Design
- OSHE 4422 Industrial Hygiene Sampling and Analysis (with lab)
- OSHE 5131 Controls for Occupational and Environmental Hazards
- OSHE 5233 Recognition of Occupational Diseases
- OSHE 5234 Hazardous Materials Management
- OSHE 5333 Air Pollution
- OSHE 6315 Radiation Protection
- OSHE 6242 Analytical Methods for Analysis of Health Hazards (with lab)
Dr. Phalen's primary areas of research have been personal protective clothing and
pesticides. He has completed several NIH and NIH-type grants on these topics. The
main goal of his research has been to improve the protection afforded to workers by
personal protective clothing.
Dr. Phalen has published in the fields of occupational health and safety, environmental health, and materials science. Graduate students under his advising and within his lab have conducted collaborative research on personal protective equipment, pesticides, direct-reading instrumentation for gases and vapors, respiratory fit testing, evaluation of hearing protection devices, ergonomics, heat stress, and other industrial hygiene related topics.
Awards and Accomplishments
- 2019 Elected Fellow of American Industrial Hygiene Association (FAIHA)
- 2017 UHCL Piper Award Finalist (Teaching)
- 2009 Michigan Industrial Hygiene Society Best Paper Award in Journal of Occupational and Environmental Hygiene, for “A moving robotic hand system for whole glove permeation and penetration: Captan and nitrile gloves”
- 2006 Elected member, Delta Omega Society, Iota Chapter
- 2005 Dissertation Year End Fellowship, University of California, Los Angeles
- 2004 Liberty Mutual Endowed Scholarship presented by the American Industrial Hygiene Foundation
- 2000 – 2003 NIOSH Education and Research Center Industrial Hygiene Fellowship