01.03.19 #IOM50

Dr Karen Galea, Head of Exposure Science

When I joined IOM in April 2002, I intended to stay until I submitted my PhD, moving onto pastures new thereafter. Seventeen eventful years have passed, and I am still here which raises an excellent question – why?

The answer is because of the varied, purposeful work that I have been fortunate enough to contribute too.

As one of IOMs human exposure scientists, with a background in occupational hygiene and environmental health, work is undoubtedly never dull. I have carried out measurement campaigns under (yes, under) aircraft carriers in dry dock, on oil rigs, in tunnelling/ underground environments, as well as a variety of other occupational settings around the world. My remit has also extended to model development and evaluation, epidemiological studies, the use of low-cost sensors in citizen science, residential and consumer exposure assessment amongst others. Through my work at the IOM, I have had the opportunity to contribute to BSI, CEN and ISO committees, resulting in the implementation of recognised standards,

There are, of course, IOM projects that I’ve been involved with which particularly stick in my mind. These being the ‘Biological monitoring of pesticide exposure in residents’, ‘HIVE Health interventions in volcanic eruptions’ and ‘eteam Evaluation of the Tier1 Exposure Models’. These projects were all very different in their aims and objectives but demonstrated our great multi-disciplinary and tenacious work ethic to achieve these project goals, with the findings making an impact on the wider scientific and other communities.

IOM is science with purpose, with core values of independence and integrity that I very much hold.