History of ISES™

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[1]. 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.


The Society’s mission statement reflects its dedication to promoting, protecting, and enhancing the role of exposure science in diverse fields and professional disciplines across academia, government, industry, and policy makers.

Mission Statement: ISES works to meet humanity’s needs for public health and environmental protection through a global community of exposure science professionals. ISES encourages the open exchange of information, provides opportunities for career development, acknowledges and promotes excellence in the practice of exposure assessments and research in the field of exposure science.


To better our world, its ecosystems, and inhabitants, by creating an international community that advances and integrates exposure science into research and action.


ISES is a non-profit organization that fosters communication, the exchange of information and ideas, and enhancement of professional expertise among members and across disciplines. This is accomplished through the annual conference, symposia, newsletters, the ISES website, its journal and a variety of prestigious awards and mentoring opportunities. ISES has operated with a President, President-elect, Treasurer, and Secretary (defined as the Executive Officers) and Councilors. Councilors are elected from the membership and are allocated across the various sectors that represent the Society membership (academia, government, private sector, and students). There is currently a concerted effort to establish regional chapters, the first two being in Southeast Asia and the U.S. Tri-State region. The first set of Bylaws was approved by the membership in 1991 and the By laws have been updated numerous times over the years to better reflect how the Society operates. Committees accomplish the detailed work of the Society.

Annual Meeting

Over the years, the annual meeting has become the cornerstone of the Society’s direct interaction with its members and the place where those interested in exposure science can meet, exchange ideas, and develop ideas for the future. At the beginning, all meetings were held in collaboration with another Society because it was believed that ISES was too small to have a meeting on its own. Additionally, this approach helped to increase the Society’s visibility amongst other societies and disciplines. The year 1997 marked the first time ISES had its own annual meeting. Annual meetings are now held routinely and our goal is to have a joint meeting every third year with another Society. The need for ISES “only” meetings was essential for determining how well ISES was achieving its goals and mission. In future years the Society plans to host specialty conferences devoted to particular areas of interest and new areas of concern to members and others.

Society Journal

The founders recognized that the Society needed visibility, and, as a result, the Society became affiliated with a journal through Princeton Publishing Co., Princeton, NJ. This was due to the efforts of Drs. Myron Mehlman (first President), Paul Lioy (Treasurer), and Mike Dellarco (Secretary). The first publishing activities were as a section within the Journal called “Toxicology and Industrial Health.” Then, Princeton Publishing established a new journal called the Journal of Exposure Analysis and Environmental Epidemiology (JEAEE) and selected Dr. Edo Pellizzari as its first Editor-in-Chief. He held that position from 1991 through 2005 and was assisted by a Board of Associate Editors. Although the Journal was owned by Princeton Publishing, ISES was given exclusive rights as the only Society that would be affiliated with the Journal. ISES assisted in selection of the editor and associate editors. Initially, manuscripts were published on topics related to measurements, modeling, instrumentation, questionnaires, studies on chemical, biological, and physical principles required to analyze human exposure from single and multiple media and routes, and the results from epidemiological investigations.

Princeton Publishing was sold in 1998 and now the Journal is owned by Nature Publishing Group, with a sole affiliation with ISES. Under the leadership of its second editor, Dr. Dana Barr, in 2006 the name of the Journal was changed to the Journal of Exposure Science and Environmental Epidemiology (JESEE). The Journal’s name change heralded an opportunity to expand its scope to reflect the growing field of exposure science. JESEE a peer-reviewed publication and is published six times a year. The journal publishes research important to exposure assessment for toxic substances, environmental epidemiology that includes a strong exposure analysis component, and related disciplines that advance the exposure assessment process. JESEE also publishes original research presenting significant advances in exposure analysis such as measurements, modeling, instrumentation, and questionnaires; mechanisms of exposure via pathways that lead to routes of exposure; development of molecular biomarkers of exposure, health effects, and susceptibility; genomic, proteomic, and metabolomics approaches and studies that assess exposure in the context of health effects; studies on chemical, biological, and physical principles required to analyze human exposure from single and multiple media and routes; occupational exposure studies that enhance the understanding of environmental exposure; and population-based studies of exposure to toxic substances.

The Journal updated its cover design and expanded its sections to include feature articles and editorials. In addition to the Editor-in-Chief, there is an Editorial Board, and an Associate Editor for feature articles.

Society Awards

Over the years the Society developed awards for excellence in a variety of areas. The first was established after the passing of one of ISES’s founders in 1994; the Jerome J. Wesolowski Award is in recognition of outstanding contributions to the knowledge and practice of human exposure assessment. The second, established after the passing of one of its presidents and an outstanding leader devoted to developing the next generation of exposure scientists, is the Joan M. Daisey Outstanding Young Scientist Award, which recognizes outstanding contributions to the science of human exposure analysis by a young scientist whose degree was conferred less than 10 years prior to receiving the award. In memory of his wife, the Society’s first President, Myron Mehlman, funded the Constance L. Mehlman Award. This award is in recognition of outstanding contributions in exposure analysis research that helped shape a national or state policy or that provided new approaches for reduction or prevention of exposures. The Distinguished Lecturer Award was developed in recognition of an individual within the field who promotes the mission and goals of ISES. The first recipient was approved for the year 2005-2006.

Mission Statement: Resolution of the Purpose of The International Society of Exposure Analysis

WHEREAS, environmental policy-making has been hampered by poor comprehension of exposure studies and the effects of environmental exposures on human populations and ecological systems, and

WHEREAS, environmental exposure assessment requires the collaboration of epidemiologists, statisticians, toxicologists, and members of other closely related disciplines, and

WHEREAS, no existing organization provides a forum to which government agencies, industrial associations, or public interest organizations can turn for the organization of multidisciplinary groups to make recommendations on substantive or methodological problem areas in environmental exposure assessment, and

WHEREAS, no existing organization body is available to take the initiative to identify areas or topics in which environmental exposure assessment can impact environmental policy,

THEREFORE, we join in the establishment of the International Society of Exposure Analysis in order to meet these needs and to strengthen the scientific contribution to environmental protection

ISES Presidents

1990-1991 Myron Mehlman*
1992   Jerry Schroy
1993   Paul Lioy*
1994   Morton Lippmann
1995   Joan Daisey*
1996   Ken Sexton
1997  Tom McKone
1998   Judith Graham
1999   Mike Lebowitz*
2000   Matti Jantunen
2001   Haluk Ozkaynak
2002   John Kissel
2003   Larry Needham*
2004   Erik Lebret
2005-2006  Mike Dellarco
2007-2008  Clifford Weisel
2009-2010  Tina Bahadori
2011-2012  Dana Barr
2013-2014  Richard Fenske
2015-2016  Timothy Buckley
2017-2018  Judy LaKind
2019-2020 Paloma Beamer

Founding Members

Gerald Akland
Joseph Behar
Michael Callahan
Steven Colome
Joan Daisey*
Michael Dellarco
Paul Lioy*
Michael Lebowitz*
Lars Möhave
Demetrios Moschandreas
Myron Mehlman
Wayne Ott
James Quackenboss
Bernd Seifert
Jack Spengler
Jerome Wesolowski*