The Institute of Occupational Medicine (IOM)

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.'