Pia Markkanen

Pia Markkanen, Work Environment

Pia Markkanen, Work Environment

Research Professor
Kitson 200I

Research Interest

International occupational and environmental health; work environment in the healthcare industry; work environment in the informal economy and industrial homework; social dimensions of globalization; women's occupational health; use of chemicals at work and international chemical management policies; smoking cessation; combating hazardous forms of child labor; cost-effectiveness of occupational health interventions.


Educational Background

Sc.D., Work Environment Policy, University of Massachusetts Lowell, 2004

M.Sc., Chemical Engineering, Lappeenranta University of Technology, Finland, 1992


Dr. Markkanen is a research faculty member both in the Department of Work Environment and in the Lowell Center for Sustainable Production. Currently, Dr. Markkanen’s chief research duties consist of (i) investigating hazardous exposures - with a special emphasis on sharps injuries and blood exposures - in the Massachusetts home healthcare industry, (ii) international occupational and environmental policy concerns, and (iii) gender dimensions in work environment. In 2004, she earned doctor of science degree in work environment from the UMASS Lowell’s College of Health and Environment.  Her doctoral dissertation - on working conditions of home-based shoemakers in Indonesia and in the Philippines - was awarded with the Work Environment Department’s scholarship award of 2004.  In 1992, she earned masters of science degree in chemical engineering from the Lappeenranta University of Technology, Finland. 

Dr. Markkanen’s significant professional experience comes from the field of international occupational health - including managing and implementing international development programs in collaboration with various governments, employers' organizations, workers' organizations, and non-government organizations.  Countries where she has worked comprise Cambodia, China, Indonesia, Mongolia, Nepal, the Philippines, Switzerland, Thailand, and Viet Nam.  During 1993-1995, she worked in the Occupational Safety and Health (OSH) Department of the International Labour Organization (ILO), in Geneva, Switzerland. During 1995-2000, she was based in a Finland-funded/ILO-implemented technical cooperation project (ASIAOSH), in Bangkok, Thailand.  During 2000-2004, she carried out several international work assignments (e.g. in Indonesia, Thailand, the Philippines, and Switzerland) ߝ these included consultancies to the ILO’s International Programme for the Elimination of Child Labour (ILO-IPEC) in the areas of shoemaking, deep-sea fishing, and agriculture. In 2005, Dr. Markkanen collaborated with the ILO-IPEC to develop a case study for the World Health Organization on toxic exposures of child laborers in shoemaking.

Research Interests and Collaborations