The International Society of Exposure Analysis (ISEA) (subsequently renamed the International Society of Exposure Science (ISES)) was organized in 1989 by a group of scientists and engineers at the Tropicana Hotel in Las Vegas, Nevada, during an AWMA meeting on Exposure TEAM (Total Exposure Assessment Methodology). The founders of the Society are listed in an article written by Dr. Paul Lioy, based on his Wesolowski Award presentation and published in 1999 in the Journal of Exposure Science and Environmental Epidemiology. The ISES was started to foster and advance the science of exposure as an important link to environmental epidemiology, environmental policy making, and human and ecosystem health. This was accomplished by providing a forum for professionals and students to discuss the concerns and problems of exposure science and exchange views, information, and scientific expertise. The need for the Society was also discussed during the National Research Council (NRC) Committee meetings and workshops as they developed the report “Human Exposure Assessment for Airborne Pollutants,” published in 1991 and otherwise known as the “White Book.” This committee, formed in 1987, included four of the founding members of ISES.
The expertise in ISES is interdisciplinary and draws upon a broad array of disciplines, including exposure assessment; chemistry; biochemistry; risk assessment; biostatistics; physiology; toxicology; epidemiology; ecology; environmental fate, transport, and transformation; and environmental engineering. The Society’s membership is diverse and includes academic, governmental, and private sector scientists, scientific managers, and policy makers who have a common interest in the field of exposure science.
The foundation of ISES was based on the need to bring the full value of exposure science to research and decision making to improve human health and the environment. This filled an important gap in environmental health that at the time was not addressed by established disciplines. Furthermore, it was recognized by the founders and many professionals working in various academic fields in the public and private sectors that this deficiency could only be filled by acquiring and synthesizing specialized knowledge tailored to address questions of exposure. The founders of ISES also recognized the interdisciplinary nature of the study and applications of exposure science, as well as its potential impact on human and environmental policy. For example, the Society directly assisted in the development of the revisions to the 1992 Exposure Guidelines, and ISES has helped in developing nomenclature for the field.