1989 …2020

Research activity per year

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Personal profile


Deborah Glass graduated in Natural Sciences at Cambridge University in 1974. She obtained a teaching qualification from Leicester University in 1975 and taught for 4 years.  She did a Masters in Occupational Health and Hygiene in 1979/80 and then worked in industry as an occupational hygienist, carrying out a range of work including pharmaceutical, agrochemical and asbestos sampling, noise assessments, biological and surface sampling.  She joined the Institute of Occupational Health, University of Birmingham in 1985 and became a Lecturer in Occupational Hygiene in 1989.

Deborah came to Australia in mid 1995 and joined Health Watch, a prospective cohort study of workers in the petroleum industry in Australia, then based at Melbourne University. She completed a PhD with Deakin University based on this work in 1999.
She joined Monash in 1998 and works in the field of exposure assessment for epidemiology.  Current research projects include:

  • The Heath Watch petroleum industry cohort study, the longest running occupational cohort study in Australia;

  • OccIDEAS, the development of an expert system to assess occupational exposure using job-specific modules;

  • An NHMRC-SafeWork Australia Partnership Grant national study of the prevalence of exposure to asthmagens at work.

  • An ARC grant for exposure assessment in migrant workers.

Past projects include:

  • An assessment of the Queensland Respiratory Health Surveillance for coal mine workers’ lung disease;

  • Australian career and volunteer firefighters’ mortality and cancer incidence cohort funded by AFAC;

  • The Fiskville firefighter’s health study funded by CFA;

  • An NHMRC funded study of the health effects in workers exposed to engineered nanoparticles;

  • An investigation of the cancer incidence among Queensland firefighters;

  • A combined nested case control study of leukaemia and benzene exposure in the petroleum industry with Exxon-Mobil Biomedical Services Inc. USA, Imperial College UK, University of Pittsburgh, funded by CONCAWE, the Petroleum Industry’s European Heath, Safety and Environment body;

  • An NHMRC funded study of the Australian population’s view of privacy in relation to epidemiology;

  • An NHMRC funded study of Breast Cancer Environment and Employment (BCEES), a case-control study of shiftwork and breast cancer;

  • An NHMRC funded national study of the prevalence of exposure to carcinogens at work;

  • A case-control study of benzene exposure and leukaemia in the Australian petroleum industry;

  • A study of non-occupational exposure to benzene, toluene and xylene in the general community in Melbourne;

  • Occupational exposure assessment for a prostate cancer study;

  • Occupational exposure assessment study of childhood leukaemia study;

  • Occupational exposure assessment for the Australian Gulf War Veterans Study. 

She is unit coordinator for a Monash MPH, 2043; Chemical and Biological hazards and 2022
In 2006 she joined the ACGIH TLV committee.  In 2007 she became a member of the Occupational Cancer Risk Working Party of The Cancer Council Australia.  She chairs the AIOH mentoring committee, is a member of the COH committee, a past Council member and past Education Committee Chair of the Australian Institute of Occupational Hygienists (AIOH). She was made a Fellow of the AIOH in 2008. In 2009 she was invited to become part of the International Advisory committee of the Annals of Occupational Hygiene and in 2010 became an assistant editor of that Journal.

Research area keywords

  • Firefighters
  • Occupational Exposure
  • Benzene


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