About

IOM is an organisation with a great history and unlimited potential for the future.

We have been at the forefront of scientific research to understand and mitigate a range of occupational and environmental health risks. These include coal dust, asbestos, carbon nanotubes and air pollution.

The Institute of Occupational Medicine (IOM) was founded as a research charity in 1969 by the National Coal Board, primarily to complete ground-breaking research on lung disease in coal mine workers. However, our scope of work developed and ergonomic factors advanced, and ultimately we established a mission to reduce health and safety risks in the industry. The critical research led to an understanding that coal mining not only caused the specific disease known as coal workers’ pneumoconiosis but also to an increased risk of chronic obstructive lung disease, a condition commonly caused by tobacco smoking.

We also made important advances in understanding how asbestos causes disease, leading to the establishment of methods for assessing possible hazard from substitute fibrous materials.

Following the steep decline of the coal industry in the UK and retracted funding from NCB, our future survival was in a vulnerable position. To secure long-term survival, we expanded our research range and a carefully considered a commercial model focused on turning our research into best practice workplace services. In 1990, we were able to re-launch as a self-funding, fully independent research charity.

As well as covering the United Kingdom and Ireland, our work takes across the world into Asia, North and South America, Africa and continental Europe.

From early 2005, we became a leading player in Europe into collaborative research related to the safety of nano-sized materials. Because of our growing expertise in nanotechnology, SAFENANO was established as a sister company; it was one of the first recognised companies developing the safe use of Nanotechnology.

In 2012, we successfully opened our first overseas office in Singapore. Our presence in Singapore would be a staging post for further expansion in Asia where it was clear that there was a great need for our expertise to improve the prevailing working conditions.

In 2019, we celebrate 50 years of IOM we have evolved and changed in many ways but the two founding questions from our original research on lung disease in coal workers can be generalised as;

  1. How much and what kinds of exposure cause health effects?
  2. What levels of exposure need to be maintained to prevent health effects occurring?

It's these two questions that still define our purpose and why we exist as an organisation today.

“Our purpose is to improve people’s health and safety at work, at home and in the environment through excellent independent science to create a healthy and sustainable world”.
Dr Karen Galea Head of Exposure Science

Karen is Head of the Exposure Science Section of our Research Division. She is actively involved in a wide variety of research projects, mainly focused on exposure assessment relating to health risks. Her work has included the characterisation of aerosols during offshore drilling operations and primary nickel production; a guide to safe handling and disposal of engineered nanoparticles; a case-control study of cancer among current and former Semiconductor employees; an assessment of exposure to secondhand tobacco smoke in the home and working environment; and pesticide biomonitoring in residents living near agricultural land.

Dr Ioannis Basinas Senior Scientist

Ioannis is a senior scientist within the Exposure Science section of our Research Division. His research interests focus on the establishment and application of improved methods for quantitative exposure assessment based on statistical and mathematical modelling approaches. Ioannis has substantial experience in the assessment of exposure to organic dusts and the related health risks. Previously he was responsible for one of the largest exposure assessment studies on personal bio-aerosol exposures of farmers ever accomplished. He has also been involved in several studies aiming to guide and optimize exposure control strategies for bio-aerosol exposures in farm workplaces, and extensively worked towards the assessment of the burden of historical exposures to organic dusts. Currently he is involved in several projects related to the assessment of exposure to engineered nanomaterials, organic dusts, and the evaluation of Tier 1 models used under REACH. Ioannis won the Thomas Bedford Memorial Prize in 2018.


Dr Karen Galea Head of Exposure Science

Karen is Head of the Exposure Science Section of our Research Division. She is actively involved in a wide variety of research projects, mainly focused on exposure assessment relating to health risks. Her work has included the characterisation of aerosols during offshore drilling operations and primary nickel production; a guide to safe handling and disposal of engineered nanoparticles; a case-control study of cancer among current and former Semiconductor employees; an assessment of exposure to secondhand tobacco smoke in the home and working environment; and pesticide biomonitoring in residents living near agricultural land.

Dr Karen Galea Head of Exposure Science

Karen is Head of the Exposure Science Section of our Research Division. She is actively involved in a wide variety of research projects, mainly focused on exposure assessment relating to health risks. Her work has included the characterisation of aerosols during offshore drilling operations and primary nickel production; a guide to safe handling and disposal of engineered nanoparticles; a case-control study of cancer among current and former Semiconductor employees; an assessment of exposure to secondhand tobacco smoke in the home and working environment; and pesticide biomonitoring in residents living near agricultural land.

Prof Damien McElvenny Principal Epidemiologist

Damien is a principal epidemiologist who has worked in the Statistics and Toxicology Section of Research Division since 2011. He is an Emeritus Professor of Epidemiology at the University of Central Lancashire, an Honorary Associate Professor at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine and an Honorary Senior Research Fellow at the University of Manchester. He has over 30 years' experience working in a variety roles relating to the statistical analysis of health data in the public and private sector. Damien was chair of the Local Organising Committee for the EPICOH 2017 conference, the premier international conference on epidemiology in occupational health, which was held in Edinburgh.

Events
02 April
2019

7th Occupational & Environmental Exposure Science Meeting

  • 02 April 2019
  • 10:00
  • NEC Birmingham

The 7th Occupational & Environmental Exposure Science Meeting will take place on Tuesday 2nd April 2019.

Event info
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IOMworld
  • Contact Us

If you would like to contact us, please use the attached form and we will get back to you. Alternatively, call or write to us at our Head Office in Edinburgh or one of our regional offices.

Our office hours are: 

Monday to Friday - 8.00am to 5.15pm

Our head office numbers is +44 (0)131 449 8000

Email: info@iom-world.org