In the late 1970’s a group of like minded individuals involved in Inhalation Toxicology felt the need for a suitable forum for discussion of Inhalation Toxicology and associated technology. Because of the many and varied scientific disciplines involved in generating and administering test atmospheres to animals and humans and the assessment of the effects of these atmospheres, the society is composed of individuals with many different skill sets and interests.
On Friday 15th May 1981, an inaugural meeting of the Inhalation Toxicology Group was held.
The group outlined some initial guidelines in setting up a small technology group. Two points made were:
Members should be practitioners
Frequency of meeting should not exceed 2-3/year
This meeting established the Association of Inhalation Toxicologists (AIT).
About this time events were also moving in the Inhalation field in the USA, where a workshop on Inhalation Chamber Technology had been organised by Brookhaven National Laboratory.
The first conference of the Association of Inhalation Toxicologists took place at Trinity College, Oxford on 28/29th September 1981. The meeting topic was Particulate Atmospheres. At the end of the meeting, topics for future meetings were discussed. Memories of the meeting include dinner in the candlelight of Trinity College complemented by some fine wines, and on the following morning a founder member was presented with a prayer card (as the prayers before breakfast, by tradition were always spoken in Latin).
The next committee meeting agenda included such items as the Constitution – a subject the committee wrestled with for a number of meetings, a newsletter to include an AIT logo contest, links with other groups, sponsorship, membership and arrangements for a Spring meeting.
The spring meeting was heralded in a note in the first AIT Newsletter. This announced a £1 members fee and the newsletter was accompanied by a list of 41 members dated February 1982. The newsletter sported the new AIT logo showing particles diverging from A to T through the I.
The second conference was held at the University of Surrey on 6th April 1982 and was preceded by a committee meeting on the 5th. One of the committee’s functions was the approval of nine new members. On the following day, members heard presentations on the Generation of Particulate Atmospheres, a new Particle Size Analyser and the Design of Inhalation Studies.
Since this time the Association has remained in existence for what is now 38 years and there have been more than 44 formal conferences and countless organising/committee meetings. Most of these meetings, particularly in the early years have been in the UK. However as the membership from around the world grows a number of meetings in recent years have been held in Continental Europe and the USA. The topics have been varied from year to year, although some particularly relevant topics have been revisited on a number of occasions.