Dr Mohamed A. Abdallah MSc, PhD, FHEA, MRSC

Dr Mohamed A. Abdallah

School of Geography, Earth and Environmental Sciences
Associate Professor in Persistent Organic Pollutants / Emerging Contaminants

Contact details

School of Geography, Earth and Environmental Sciences
University of Birmingham
B15 2TT

Dr Mohamed Abdallah has wide experience in applying mass spectrometric techniques for analysis of trace levels of environmental pollutants in biotic and abiotic matrices including different human tissues. He has particular interest in assessing the risk from human exposure to emerging contaminants using various exposure and pharmacokinetic models. Abdallah is also actively engaged in microplastics research.

Dr Mohamed Abdallah is part of the Birmingham Plastics Network, an interdisciplinary team of more than 40 academics working together to shape the fate and sustainable future of plastics.


PhD Environmental Chemistry- University of Birmingham, UK. 2010
MSc Pharmaceutical Analytical Chemistry- Assiut University, Egypt. 2003
BSc Pharmaceutical Sciences- Assiut University, Egypt. 2000


Dr Mohamed Abdallah finished his bachelor studies in pharmaceutical sciences, followed by a masters in applied analytical chemistry. During these studies, Dr Abdallah gained theoretical and practical experience in advanced chromatographic and spectroscopic techniques, in addition to applying pharmacokinetic models to predict in vivo levels of drugs.

During his PhD studies, Dr. Abdallah published 19 papers in high-impact peer-reviewed journals investigating environmental behaviour, fate, human exposure and risk assessment of persistent organic pollutants (POPs). He also participated in several international conferences and won two prizes for his distinguished research.

Subsequently, He took a job as a lecturer in Assiut University, Egypt, where he continued his research in the environmental health field, and established collaborations with various international research groups via a Marie-Curie Staff Exchange Scheme.

In 2013, Abdallah was awarded a prestigious 2-year Marie-Curie Fellowship during which he pioneered the application of 3D-Human Skin Equivalent models (3D-HSE) to study the human dermal bioavailability and metabolism of chemical pollutants in dust, fabrics, and cosmetics. He subsequently took up the post of Lecturer at Birmingham in 2016, where he continues his research on emerging environmental contaminants.


Abdallah makes a significant contribution to the delivery of undergraduate and postgraduate programmes in EVS and EHS, including fieldwork. He is currently module leader for:

  • 36220 LH Pollution Impact and Environmental Management
  • 28766 LM Chemical and Biological Incident Management

Postgraduate supervision

Dr. Abdallah welcomes e-mail enquiries from prospective doctoral researchers in his areas of interest.

Abdallah has supervised 7 PhD students to the successful completion of their PhD degree at Birmingham. Currently, he is supervising 15 PhD students in GEES and Biosciences. An incomprehensive guide of current PhD topics supervised by Abdallah include:

  • Human exposure to microplastics in the indoor environment.
  • Human dermal uptake and metabolism of PFAS from fabrics.
  • Utility of XRF as screening tool for organophosphate esters in waste furnishings.
  • Atmospheric levels and profiles of new POPs.
  • Dynamics, function and influence of gut microbiome in pesticides resistance
  • Concentrations, fate and behaviour of microplastic additives in freshwater sediment.
  • Fate and behaviour of pharmaceuticals & personal care products (PPCPs) in sediment.
  • Comparative evaluation of human exposure to PFAS from drinking water in UK and China.
Human dietary exposure to organophosphate esters.


  • Human exposure to persistent organic pollutants (POPs) and emerging contaminants (ECs) including microplastics, pesticides, PFAS, pharmaceuticals and personal care products (PPCPs)
  • Biotransformation and bioavailability of POPs/ECs to humans
  • Levels and trends of various POPs/ECs in different environmental compartments
  • Understanding the link between external intake of POPs/ECs via different exposure routes and their human body burdens using various exposure and Pharmacokinetic models
  • in vitro 3D-human tissue models as alternatives to human tissues and laboratory animals, with particular focus on dermal uptake and metabolism studies
  • Microplastics as conduits of hazardous chemical contaminants to animals and humans.
  • Occurrence, metabolism, bioavailability, and risk of per- and poly-fluoroalkyl compounds (PFAS). 

Past and present funding for Dr Abdallah’s research programme comes from: The European Commission, The Natural Environment Research Council (NERC), The Biotechnology and Biosciences Research Council (BBSRC), the Royal Society, Defra and the Association of Commonwealth Universities.

Dr. Abdallah’s research group is multi-disciplinary and multi-national, including various nationalities over the years: UK, Egypt, China, Iceland, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Libya, Spain, South Africa, Nigeria and France.

Other activities

  • Associate editor for Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry in Environmental Research journal (IF = 6.498).
  • Editorial board member of Toxics and Emerging Contaminants journals.
  • Sits on the exposure panel for the WHO International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) and regularly contributes to the IARC monograph series.
Dr. Abdallah has advised several policy and governance bodies on issues related to exposure and risk assessment of POPs and emerging contaminants including Health Canada, UK CoT, DEFRA and EU EFSA CONTAM panel.


Recent publications


Akinrinade, OE, Stubbings, WA, Abdallah, MA-E, Ayejuyo, O, Alani, R & Harrad, S 2022, 'Atmospheric concentrations of polychlorinated biphenyls, brominated flame retardants, and novel flame retardants in Lagos, Nigeria indicate substantial local sources', Environmental Research, vol. 204, no. Part B, 112091. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.envres.2021.112091

Lin, L, Abdallah, MAE, Chen, LJ, Luo, XJ, Mai, BX & Harrad, S 2022, 'Comparative in vitro metabolism of short chain chlorinated paraffins (SCCPs) by human and chicken liver microsomes: First insight into heptachlorodecanes', Science of the Total Environment, vol. 851, no. Pt 2, 158261. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.scitotenv.2022.158261

Abdallah, M & Harrad, S 2022, 'Dermal uptake of chlorinated organophosphate flame retardants via contact with furniture fabrics; implications for human exposure', Environmental Research, vol. 209, 112847. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.envres.2022.112847

Waiyarat, S, Boontanon, SK, Boontanon, N, Fujii, S, Harrad, S, Drage, DS & Abdallah, MA-E 2022, 'Exposure, risk and predictors of hexabromocyclododecane and Tetrabromobisphenol-A in house dust from urban, rural and E-waste dismantling sites in Thailand', Chemosphere, vol. 302, 134730. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.chemosphere.2022.134730

Ageel, HK, Harrad, S & Abdallah, MA-E 2022, 'Occurrence, human exposure, and risk of microplastics in the indoor environment', Environmental Science Processes and Impacts , vol. 24, no. 1, pp. 17-31. https://doi.org/10.1039/D1EM00301A

Gbadamosi, MR, Abdallah, MAE & Harrad, S 2022, 'Organophosphate esters in UK diet; exposure and risk assessment', Science of the Total Environment, vol. 849, 158368. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.scitotenv.2022.158368

Ma, Y, Stubbings, WA, Abdallah, MA-E, Cline-Cole, R & Harrad, S 2023, 'Temporal trends in concentrations of brominated flame retardants in UK foodstuffs suggest active impacts of global phase-out of PBDEs and HBCDD', Science of the Total Environment, vol. 863, 160956. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.scitotenv.2022.160956

Review article

Abdullahi, M, Li, X, Abdallah, MA-E, Stubbings, W, Yan, N, Barnard, M, Guo, L-H, Colbourne, JK & Orsini, L 2022, 'Daphnia as a Sentinel Species for Environmental Health Protection: A Perspective on Biomonitoring and Bioremediation of Chemical Pollution', Environmental Science and Technology. https://doi.org/10.1021/acs.est.2c01799

Ragnarsdóttir, O, Abdallah, MA-E & Harrad, S 2022, 'Dermal uptake: an important pathway of human exposure to perfluoroalkyl substances?', Environmental Pollution, vol. 307, 119478. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.envpol.2022.119478

Ma, Y, Stubbings, WA, Abdallah, MA-E, Cline-Cole, R & Harrad, S 2022, 'Formal waste treatment facilities as a source of halogenated flame retardants and organophosphate esters to the environment: a critical review with particular focus on outdoor air and soil', Science of the Total Environment, vol. 807, no. Part 1, 150747. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.scitotenv.2021.150747

Onoja, S, Nel, HA, Abdallah, MAE & Harrad, S 2022, 'Microplastics in freshwater sediments: analytical methods, temporal trends, and risk of associated organophosphate esters as exemplar plastics additives', Environmental Research, vol. 203, 111830. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.envres.2021.111830

Eastwood, N, Stubbings, WA, Abdallah, MA-E, Durance, I, Paavola, J, Dallimer, M, Pantel, JH, Johnson, S, Zhou, J, Hosking, JS, Brown, J, Ullah, S, Krause, S, Hannah, D, Crawford, S, Widmann, M & Orsini, L 2022, 'The Time Machine framework: monitoring and prediction of biodiversity loss', Trends in Ecology & Evolution, vol. 37, no. 2, pp. 138-146. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.tree.2021.09.008

Alghamdi, M, Abdallah, MAE & Harrad, S 2022, 'The utility of X-Ray fluorescence spectrometry as a tool for monitoring compliance with limits on concentrations of halogenated flame retardants in waste polymers: a critical review', Emerging Contaminants, vol. 8, pp. 9-20. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.emcon.2021.12.002

Gbadamosi, MR, Abdallah, MA-E & Harrad, S 2021, 'A critical review of human exposure to organophosphate esters with a focus on dietary intake', Science of the Total Environment, vol. 771, 144752. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.scitotenv.2020.144752

Al-Omran, LS, Harrad, S & Abou-Elwafa Abdallah, M 2021, 'A meta-analysis of factors influencing concentrations of brominated flame retardants and organophosphate esters in indoor dust', Environmental Pollution, vol. 285, 117262. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.envpol.2021.117262

View all publications in research portal