1980 …2024

Research activity per year

Personal profile

Research interests

I have retired from the university. My research has been concerned with understanding the links between human health and exposure to chemicals, pesticides, asbestos, and other risk factors.

Recent research projects include:

  • A study of UV exposure and vitamin D status amongst outdoor construction workers.
  • A health impact assessment of air pollution in Thailand - TAPHIA.
  • The Heading study of professional soccer players and their brain helath.
  • HEALS, which is a very large pan European project that is developing methods for Health and Environment-wide Associations based on Large population Surveys.
  • ConstructHealth.sg, where we are making an assessment of the amount disease associated with the construction industry in Singapore, and providing clear strategies to minimize the amount of this disease in the future.

Much of my research was related to the risk of occupational cancer, and I have recently been involved with three epidemiological studies looking at risks from inorganic lead exposure, risks from exposure to tungsten carbide with cobalt binder and from work in the British rubber industry.

I am also interested in improving occupational and environmental exposure assessment for epidemiological studies of neurodegenerative disease, modeling exposure to metals from contaminated land, and pesticide exposure for workers and people living near to land where pesticides are applied.

I have work closely with scientists at the Institute of Occupational Medicine (IOM), where I was based part-time. 


I graduated in Physics from Edinburgh University in 1977 and went to work at the Institute of Occupational Medicine (IOM). My early career involved measuring exposure to airborne fibres, both asbestos and man-made mineral fibres. The latter work was in support of a large European epidemiology study coordinated by the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC).  I developed an interest in occupational hygiene, and the science behind occupational exposure to harmful agents. In 1991 I joined the University of Aberdeen to set up a Masters course in occupational hygiene. During this time I developed my interest in retrospective occupational exposure assessment for epidemiological studies, and this work formed the basis of my PhD, which I received in 1996. In 2003 I rejoined the IOM and took on the role of Research Director. During this time I broadened my research interested to encompass the “exposome”, human exposure assessment, occupational cancer, environmental and occupational epidemiology, natural and synthetic fibres, dermal exposure and air pollution. In 2015 I took up a chair in Human Health at Heriot Watt University. 

I am a retired Chartered Fellow of the Faculty of the British Occupational Hygiene Society (CFFOH ret).

I co-wrote the textbook Monitoring for Health Hazards at Work, published by Wiley-Blackwell. Translated into Chinese in 2011. The 5th edition of the book was published in 2021. 

I was President of the British Occupational Hygiene Society 2007/08.

Delivered the inaugural John Cherrie Lecture 2023.

Winner of the Bedford Medal 2014.

Jeffrey S. Lee Lecturer 2012.

Former member of the Editorial Board for the Annals of Work Exposures and Health, and the Editorial Board of the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health

I have served on the… 

The Industrial Injuries Advisory Council (current)

Health and Safety Executive - Workplace Health Expert Committee (current)

Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs - Advisory Committee on Pesticides, 2002 - 2008

Health and Safety Executive - Committee on Fibre Measurement, 1992 - 2010

Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs - Expert Panel on Air Quality Standards, 1994 – 2003   

Veterinary Medicines Directorate - Appraisal Panel For Human Suspected Adverse Reactions To Veterinary Medicines, 1998 – 2002   


Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 3 - Good Health and Well-being
  • SDG 11 - Sustainable Cities and Communities
  • SDG 12 - Responsible Consumption and Production
  • SDG 16 - Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions

External positions

Institute of Occupational Medicine



  • RA0421 Public health. Hygiene. Preventive Medicine
  • Occupational health
  • Exposome
  • Cancer
  • Industrial hygiene
  • Epidemiology
  • Asbestos
  • Skin exposure


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Collaborations and top research areas from the last five years

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