Biomonitoring: A Useful Tool for Occupational Health Practitioners

Nancy B. Hopf
2021 Portuguese Journal of Public Health  
Excuse me. I did not capture the research area you mentioned. Could you please repeat?" said the woman in charge of registering new faculty members at the University of Lausanne, Switzerland, whom I had on the phone. This was about a decade ago. "Occupational hygiene specializing in biomonitoring" I repeated. Well, she informed me that this field was not listed as an option for research areas at the School of Biology and Medicine. "What about occupational hygiene?" I asked (I had been informed
more » ... hat in Europe, we call industrial hygienists, occupational hygienists). Again, a negative answer. "What about occupational health?" I asked. Surely, this long-standing discipline exists, I thought. I had moved from Cincinnati, Ohio, 2 years prior with a PhD from the Medical College and the Department of Occupational and Environmental Health at the University of Cincinnati (UC), and several years working at the National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH). In our Occupational Health class at UC, we had studied the groundbreaking work the legendary occupational medical physician, Alice Hamilton, had carried out in the early 1900s. Then about the rights of working people to have a safe and healthy workplace, which gave way for the New Deal in the 1930s [1] that profoundly increased the role of the US federal government in Occupa-This is an Open Access article licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-4.0 International License (CC BY-NC) (, applicable to the online version of the article only. Usage and distribution for commercial purposes requires written permission.
doi:10.1159/000520703 fatcat:e2jg2x4uf5bbzlljwqx4y74ww4