Robin Russell-Jones

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Robin Russell-Jones (born 5 March 1948) is a medical doctor with an abiding interest in environmental pollution and the way it impinges on public health. His activities have influenced several key area of environmental policy in the UK, including the decision to ban lead in petrol, introduce catalytic converters in petrol driven vehicles, and change official guidelines on exposure to ionising radiation. His letters and articles have raised awareness of ozone depletion and global warming.


Although Russell-Jones was a medical scholar at Peterhouse, Cambridge he graduated with a degree in the History of Art. He completed his clinical training at St Thomas’ Hospital, London, obtained his MRCP in 1974 and specialized in dermatology. He holds both FRCP and FRCPath.


In 1981 Russell-Jones became Medical and Scientific Advisor to CLEAR, The Campaign for Lead-Free Air.[1] In 1982 he organized an international conference on the biological effects of low level lead exposure, and the subsequent proceedings, Lead versus Health,[2] were edited with Michael Rutter FRS, Professor of Child Psychiatry at the Institute of Psychiatry. In 1983 Russell-Jones gave evidence to the Royal Commission on Environmental pollution whose Ninth report, Lead in the Environment,[3] persuaded the UK Government to introduce lead-free petrol.

In 1986 he organized a conference on the biological effects of low level exposure to ionizing radiation, and the subsequent proceedings[4] were edited with Sir Richard Southwood FRS, Professor of Zoology at Oxford, and Chair of the NRPB. International cancer risk estimates were subsequently revised upwards and dose limits for nuclear workers and the public were lowered.

In 1988 he organized a conference on ozone depletion, and the subsequent proceedings[5] were edited with Tom Wigley who at that time was head of the Climatic Research Unit at the University of East Anglia.The following year Margaret Thatcher hosted a UN conference in London on ozone depletion[6] which led eventually to the Montreal protocol.

In 1989 he wrote an editorial for The Lancet, Health in the Greenhouse,[7] which concluded as follows: “Any strategy to combat global warming must be conducted on a global scale and is bound to involve enormous investment in energy conservation, re-afforestation, renewable sources of energy and changing patterns of agriculture and transportation This approach will require a new agenda for world leaders, a new role for the United Nations Environmental Programme, and a new awareness of man’s fundamental reliance on the integrity of world ecosystems. The expense may be considerable, but the cost of doing nothing is incalculable.”

In 2012 he established a small educational charity Help Rescue the Planet and organized an international conference[8] at the Royal Institute of British Architects, London on climate change.


  • Russell-Jones, Robin (2017). The Gilgamesh Gene. London: Shepheard-Walwyn. ISBN 9780856835148.


  1. ^ "Fracking debate: what does the battle for lead-free air teach us?". the Guardian.
  2. ^ AMBG (1983). "Lead Versus Health: Sources and Effects of Low Level Lead Exposure". Public Health. 97 (3): 184–5. doi:10.1016/S0033-3506(83)80097-3.
  3. ^ "[ARCHIVED CONTENT] RCEP - Reports". Archived from the original on 2011-03-22.
  4. ^ Jones, R.R. "Radiation and health: The biological effects of low-level exposure to ionizing radiation (Book) - SciTech Connect". OSTI 5133794.
  5. ^ "9780471923169: Ozone Depletion: Health and Environmental Consequences - AbeBooks: 0471923168". 14 February 1989.
  6. ^ "Press Conference closing London Saving the Ozone Layer Conference".
  7. ^ "Health in the Greenhouse". The Lancet. 333 (8642): 819–20. 1989. doi:10.1016/S0140-6736(89)92275-7.
  8. ^ "International Conference on Climate Change". Help Rescue The Planet.