1987 …2023

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:

  • NHMRC funded study of firefighter health in relation to PFAS exposure
  • NHMRC partnership grant with Queensland DNRME, a cancer & mortality study of coal mine workers
  • A WorkSafe Victoria funded study of silicosis in the artificial stone benchtop industry
  • The Heath Watch petroleum industry cohort study, the longest running Australian occupational cohort;
  • OccIDEAS, development of an expert system to assess occupational exposure using job-specific modules.

Past projects include:

  • An NHMRC-SafeWork Australia Partnership Grant national study of the prevalence of exposure to asthmagens at work;
  • An OMEGA-net collaboration in Europe looking at migrant workers’ occupational health assessments in epidemiology
  • An ARC project examining occupational exposure in migrant workers;
  • 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;
  • Defence firefighters’ health study.
  • 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. 

In 2006 she joined the ACGIH TLV committee.  In 2007 she became a founding member of the Occupational Cancer Risk Working Party of The Cancer Council Australia.

She has been an active member of the Australian Institute of Occupational Hygienists (AIOH), a past Council member, Education Committee Chair and Mentoring Committee chair and was a member of the COH committee. 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.

She has taken part in three IARC monograph meetings on some industrial chemicals, benzene and opium.

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

Research area keywords

  • Firefighters
  • Occupational Exposure
  • Benzene

Collaborations and top research areas from the last five years

Recent external collaboration on country/territory level. Dive into details by clicking on the dots or