- 1726 - Thomas Benson obtains the first patent on control at source, for wet grinding of flint for the pottery industry.
- 1832 - Charles Thackrah, Town Surgeon of Leeds, appeals for people with “connivance and invention” to improve workplace health.
- 1864 - Factory Act requires every factory to be ventilated to “render harmless, as far as is practicable,” any gases or dusts. But no one knows what level is harmless.
- 1893 - Adelaide Anderson begins to improve women’s working conditions, notably in textiles and white lead.
- 1912 - Thomas Legge publishes 100 pages on principles of control and proposes first British occupational exposure limit for a toxic substance (lead).
- 1943 - Bedford and Warner publish a study on the dusts that cause coal-workers' pneumoconiosis.
- 1952 - MRC panel defines respirable dust (superseded by EN 481 in 1995). ICI Ltd publishes first British exposure limit list (for 151 substances).