Imperial College London

Ruthie Parsons

Faculty of MedicineSchool of Public Health

Research Postgraduate







Medical SchoolSt Mary's Campus





The Breast Milk, Environment, and Early-life Development (BEED) study was established to address public health concerns about the relationship between modelled area level ambient dioxin exposure and individual level breast milk dioxin exposures. The study recruited primiparous pregnant women living near three municipal waste incinerators in England to gain detailed exposure profile with the participants providing breast milk samples as well as lifestyle and diet information. My PhD project will utilise results from this study to investigate the relationship between milk dioxin levels and modelled ambient dioxin concentrations, by dioxin congener and modelled zone. There is also the opportunity to explore relationships between metabolomic and neurodevelopment outcomes and individual exposure to dioxins, furans and heavy metals.

My PhD is funded by National Institute for Health Research Health Protection Research Unit (NIHR HPRU) in Chemical and Radiation Threats and Hazards and I am supervised by Professor Mireille Tolendano and Dr Ovnair Sepai.

Additionally, I am part of the Transition to Zero Pollution PhD Cohort, the Science and Solutions for a Changing Planet Doctoral Training Partnership, and I am the Postgraduate Rep for the Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics.

Before joining Imperial, I completed a MSc in Global Health Science and Epidemiology at the University of Oxford and a BSc in Mathematics at Brunel University London with a placement year in Biostatistics at GSK.