Alastair Hay specialises in the toxicology, biomarkers and pharmacokinetics of chemicals.
He has researched the toxicology of nanoparticles and effects of exposure to chemical warfare agents. He has also carried out field investigations of alleged chemical warfare incidents and has acted on scientific expert advisory committees for the UK government and EU. He is also interested in the ethical issues for chemists and biologists in the development and use of chemical weapons.
He has written extensively on the subject and helped prepare the World Health Organisation's 2004 manual: Public health response to biological and chemical agents.
He recently chaired a small international working group under the auspices of the International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry and the OPCW which prepared educational material for chemists on the multiple uses of chemicals, chemical warfare and codes of conduct.