Corbett McDonald

Corbett McDonald E. DEMOU ET AL.: WORKING HEALTH SERVICES SCOTLAND 45 16. Cocker F, Martin A, Scott J, Venn A, Sanderson K. 20. UNISON. The Ageing Workforce. Health and Safety Psychological distress, related work attendance, and pro- Implications. 2013. https://www.unison.org.uk/content/ ductivity loss in small-to-medium enterprise owner/man- uploads/2013/06/On-line-Catalogue214743.pdf (March agers. Int J Environ Res Public Health 2013;10:5062–5082. 2016, date last accessed). 17. Harrison J, Woods A, Dickson K. Occupational health 21. Steadman K, Taskila T. Symptoms of Depression and purchasing behaviour by SMEs—a new theoretical model. Their Effects on Employment. Summary Report. The Work Occup Med (Lond) 2013;63:510–512. Foundation, 2015. http://www.theworkfoundation. 18. Hanson M, Demou E, Bakhshi A et al. Evaluation of W or king com/wp-content/uploads/2016/11/382_Symptoms- Health Services Scotland, 2010–2014. 2016. http://www.gov. of-Depression_FINAL.pdf (March 2016, date last scot/Resource/0050/00502387.pdf (July 2016, date last accessed). accessed). 22. Scottish Government. Regional Employment Patterns 19. WHSS. Working Health Services Scotland (WHSS). 2016. in Scotland: Statistics from the Annual Population http://www.gov.scot/Topics/Health/Healthy-Living/Health- Sur vey, 2015. 2015. http://www.gov.scot/Publications/ Work/Projects. (July 2016, date last accessed). 2016/05/8208. (March 2016, date last accessed). doi:10.1093/occmed/kqx137 Corbett McDonald, one of the truly colossal figures in (SWORD) and skin diseases amongst others. He worked occupational health, died in 2016. In ‘Farewell to Corbett, on sick building syndrome, solvent exposure and psy- but Not to His Contributions’ Trevor Ogden and Graham chiatric disorders, chemical exposure and congenital Gibbs commemorate the first anniversary of his death in defects and spontaneous abortion. He studied flour and the Annals of Workplace Exposures and Health [1]. other aeroallergens, silica in potteries and cryptogenic John Corbett McDonald was born in Belfast fibrosing alveolitis. During his career he was head of the in April 1918. He qualified at St Mary’s Hospital TUC Centenary Institute of Occupational Health at Medical School, was an army medical officer during the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine World War II and then trained in public health at the and Professor Emeritus of Clinical Epidemiology at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine National Heart and Lung Institute. and at Harvard University. He became director of the Corbett remained active well into old age despite los- Epidemiological Research Laboratory at the Public ing a leg after being hit by a motorcycle. He authored over Health Laboratory at Colindale in 1960 before mov- 70 of his 319 papers after his 70th birthday, the last one ing to chair the new Department of Epidemiology appearing in the Annals in 2010 when he was 92. At the and Health at McGill University in Montreal in 1964. age of 93 he made several visits to Bangladesh where he Together with Dr Christopher Wagner, newly arrived helped set up a postgraduate training scheme and worked from the Pneumoconiosis Research Unit near Cardiff, on the effects of arsenic contamination of drinking water. he began his research interest in asbestos. Funding was However, even in his eighties, Corbett’s personal integrity obtained from the asbestos industry at a time when such was attacked and demands made for McGill University funding for research was not unusual. In a retrospective to investigate his research. Finally and eventually the cohort study of 11000 Quebec chrysotile miners and Research Integrity Officer of McGill concluded that ‘there millers born between 1891 and 1920, they found excess is no evidence that the design of the research, its conduct, lung cancer deaths at ‘extremely high dust exposure’, and its reporting was influenced by the industry’. but little or no excess below levels ‘orders of magnitude You can read the full article from which this higher than permitted today’. In 1972, Corbett advised abridged version is adapted at https://doi.org/10.1093/ the International Agency for Research on Cancer which annweh/wxx013. concluded that all commercial types of asbestos could cause lung cancer. Whilst his work was one of the major John  Hobson studies that contributed to understanding the risk of e-mail: hon.editor@som.org.uk asbestos disease, Corbett was publicly attacked by those who disagreed with his findings and the use made of them by the asbestos industry. This assault lasted for Reference most of Corbett’s lifetime and threatened to overshadow his other considerable contributions to occupational 1. Ogden T, Gibbs G. Farewell to Corbett, but not to his health. He initiated a series of occupational disease contributions. Ann Work Expo Health 2017;61:499–503. doi:10.1093/annweh/wxx013. surveillance schemes including respiratory diseases Downloaded from https://academic.oup.com/occmed/article-abstract/68/1/45/4866334 by Ed 'DeepDyve' Gillespie user on 16 March 2018 http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Occupational Medicine Oxford University Press

Corbett McDonald

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© The Author(s) 2018. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Society of Occupational Medicine. All rights reserved. For Permissions, please email: journals.permissions@oup.com
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0962-7480
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1471-8405
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10.1093/occmed/kqx137
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Abstract

E. DEMOU ET AL.: WORKING HEALTH SERVICES SCOTLAND 45 16. Cocker F, Martin A, Scott J, Venn A, Sanderson K. 20. UNISON. The Ageing Workforce. Health and Safety Psychological distress, related work attendance, and pro- Implications. 2013. https://www.unison.org.uk/content/ ductivity loss in small-to-medium enterprise owner/man- uploads/2013/06/On-line-Catalogue214743.pdf (March agers. Int J Environ Res Public Health 2013;10:5062–5082. 2016, date last accessed). 17. Harrison J, Woods A, Dickson K. Occupational health 21. Steadman K, Taskila T. Symptoms of Depression and purchasing behaviour by SMEs—a new theoretical model. Their Effects on Employment. Summary Report. The Work Occup Med (Lond) 2013;63:510–512. Foundation, 2015. http://www.theworkfoundation. 18. Hanson M, Demou E, Bakhshi A et al. Evaluation of W or king com/wp-content/uploads/2016/11/382_Symptoms- Health Services Scotland, 2010–2014. 2016. http://www.gov. of-Depression_FINAL.pdf (March 2016, date last scot/Resource/0050/00502387.pdf (July 2016, date last accessed). accessed). 22. Scottish Government. Regional Employment Patterns 19. WHSS. Working Health Services Scotland (WHSS). 2016. in Scotland: Statistics from the Annual Population http://www.gov.scot/Topics/Health/Healthy-Living/Health- Sur vey, 2015. 2015. http://www.gov.scot/Publications/ Work/Projects. (July 2016, date last accessed). 2016/05/8208. (March 2016, date last accessed). doi:10.1093/occmed/kqx137 Corbett McDonald, one of the truly colossal figures in (SWORD) and skin diseases amongst others. He worked occupational health, died in 2016. In ‘Farewell to Corbett, on sick building syndrome, solvent exposure and psy- but Not to His Contributions’ Trevor Ogden and Graham chiatric disorders, chemical exposure and congenital Gibbs commemorate the first anniversary of his death in defects and spontaneous abortion. He studied flour and the Annals of Workplace Exposures and Health [1]. other aeroallergens, silica in potteries and cryptogenic John Corbett McDonald was born in Belfast fibrosing alveolitis. During his career he was head of the in April 1918. He qualified at St Mary’s Hospital TUC Centenary Institute of Occupational Health at Medical School, was an army medical officer during the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine World War II and then trained in public health at the and Professor Emeritus of Clinical Epidemiology at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine National Heart and Lung Institute. and at Harvard University. He became director of the Corbett remained active well into old age despite los- Epidemiological Research Laboratory at the Public ing a leg after being hit by a motorcycle. He authored over Health Laboratory at Colindale in 1960 before mov- 70 of his 319 papers after his 70th birthday, the last one ing to chair the new Department of Epidemiology appearing in the Annals in 2010 when he was 92. At the and Health at McGill University in Montreal in 1964. age of 93 he made several visits to Bangladesh where he Together with Dr Christopher Wagner, newly arrived helped set up a postgraduate training scheme and worked from the Pneumoconiosis Research Unit near Cardiff, on the effects of arsenic contamination of drinking water. he began his research interest in asbestos. Funding was However, even in his eighties, Corbett’s personal integrity obtained from the asbestos industry at a time when such was attacked and demands made for McGill University funding for research was not unusual. In a retrospective to investigate his research. Finally and eventually the cohort study of 11000 Quebec chrysotile miners and Research Integrity Officer of McGill concluded that ‘there millers born between 1891 and 1920, they found excess is no evidence that the design of the research, its conduct, lung cancer deaths at ‘extremely high dust exposure’, and its reporting was influenced by the industry’. but little or no excess below levels ‘orders of magnitude You can read the full article from which this higher than permitted today’. In 1972, Corbett advised abridged version is adapted at https://doi.org/10.1093/ the International Agency for Research on Cancer which annweh/wxx013. concluded that all commercial types of asbestos could cause lung cancer. Whilst his work was one of the major John  Hobson studies that contributed to understanding the risk of e-mail: hon.editor@som.org.uk asbestos disease, Corbett was publicly attacked by those who disagreed with his findings and the use made of them by the asbestos industry. This assault lasted for Reference most of Corbett’s lifetime and threatened to overshadow his other considerable contributions to occupational 1. Ogden T, Gibbs G. Farewell to Corbett, but not to his health. He initiated a series of occupational disease contributions. Ann Work Expo Health 2017;61:499–503. doi:10.1093/annweh/wxx013. surveillance schemes including respiratory diseases Downloaded from https://academic.oup.com/occmed/article-abstract/68/1/45/4866334 by Ed 'DeepDyve' Gillespie user on 16 March 2018

Journal

Occupational MedicineOxford University Press

Published: Jan 1, 2018

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