Dr Allison Searl

Director of Environmental Consultancy

Institute of Environmental Consultancy
Institute of Occupational Medicine

Institute of Occupational Medicine
Research Park North
Riccarton, Edinburgh
EH14 4AP, UK

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Research Expertise


Alison Searl has on-going involvement with an air quality monitoring programme on Montserrat for the Department of International Development since 1997, including assessing levels of exposure of island residents to crystalline silica and the associated risks of respiratory illness. Most of Alison Searl's consultancy work addresses health impact assessment and prediction. She has undertaken consultancy with respect to the potential air quality and human health impacts arising from a number of UK projects including proposed mineral extraction sites, landfill, waste incineration, glassworks and major construction projects. Alison Searl is a member of the UK Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs' Expert Panel on Air Quality Standards (EPAQS).


Relevant Publications


Searl, A., Baxter, P., & Cowie, H. (2002) ‘Exposure to volcanic ash on Montserrat, British West Indies’, Annals of Occupational Hygiene, Supplement 1, 35-38.

Searl, A., Nicholl, A., & Baxter, P. (2002) ‘Assessment of the exposure of islanders to ash from the Soufrière Hills Volcano, Montserrat, British West Indies’, Occupational and Environmental Medicine, 59, 523-531.

Moore, K.R., Duffell, H., Nicholl, A., & Searl, A. (2002) “Monitoring of airborne particulate matter during the eruption of Soufrière Hills Volcano, Montserrat”, In Druitt, T.H., and Kokelaar, B.P. (Eds). The eruption of Soufrière Hills Volcano, Montserrat, from 1995 to 1999. Geological Society, London, Memoir.

Cowie, H., Searl, A., Ritchie, P.J., Graham, M.K., Hutchison, P.A., & Pilkington, A. (2001) A health survey of Montserrations relocated to the UK. IOM Report TM/01/07

Soutar, C.A., Robertson, A., Miller, B.G., Searl, A., & Bignon, J. (2000) ‘Epidemiological evidence on the carcinogenicity of silica: factors in scientific judgement’, Annals of Occupational Hygiene, 44; 3-15.

Baxter, P.J., Bonadonna, C., Dupree, R., Hards, V.L., Kohn, S.C., Murphy, M.D., Nicholl, A., Nicholson, R.A., Norton, G., Searl, A., Sparks, R.S.J., & Vickers, B.P. (1999) ‘Cristobalite in volcanic ash of the Soufrière Hills Volcano, Montserrat, British West Indies’, Science, 283; 1141-1145.

Pilkington, A., Maclaren, W., Searl, A., Davies, J.M.G., Hurley, J.F., & Soutar, C.A. (1996) Scientific opinion on the health effects of airborne crystalline silica. Institute of Occupational Medicine Technical Memorandum TM/95/08. Edinburgh.

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Latest News


Download our pamphlets on preparing for ashfall and on the health hazards of ash. They are designed for mass distribution at the onset of new eruptions. They are now avaiable in English, Japanese, French Spanish, Portuguese, Swahili, Indonesian and Icelandic with Italian versions being available shortly. Please see our Pamphlets page for further infomation.





IVHHN has an article under the Guidelines tab which used to be called 'Recommended Face Masks'. This has now been updated to 'Information on face masks' and is an interim page whilst the Health Interventions in Volcanic Eruptions project investigates which types of respiratory protection are effective in protecting the general population from volcanic ash inhalation. Please note that the translations in Spanish, Japanese and Portuguese have not yet been updated.



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