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The University of North Carolina Press
Hazards of the Job: From Industrial Disease to Environmental Health Science / Edition 1

Hazards of the Job: From Industrial Disease to Environmental Health Science / Edition 1

by Christopher C. Sellers
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Hazards of the Job explores the roots of modern environmentalism in the early-twentieth-century United States. It was in the workplace of this era, argues Christopher Sellers, that our contemporary understanding of environmental health dangers first took shape. At the crossroads where medicine and science met business, labor, and the state, industrial hygiene became a crucible for molding midcentury notions of corporate interest and professional disinterest as well as environmental concepts of the 'normal' and the 'natural.' The evolution of industrial hygiene illuminates how powerfully battles over knowledge and objectivity could reverberate in American society: new ways of establishing cause and effect begat new predicaments in medicine, law, economics, politics, and ethics, even as they enhanced the potential for environmental control. From the 1910s through the 1930s, as Sellers shows, industrial hygiene investigators fashioned a professional culture that gained the confidence of corporations, unions, and a broader public. As the hygienists moved beyond the workplace, this microenvironment prefigured their understanding of the environment at large. Transforming themselves into linchpins of science-based production and modern consumerism, they also laid the groundwork for many controversies to come.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780807847985
Publisher: The University of North Carolina Press
Publication date: 08/30/1999
Edition description: 1
Pages: 350
Product dimensions: 6.12(w) x 9.25(h) x 0.93(d)

About the Author

Christopher C. Sellers holds an M.D. and also a Ph.D. in American studies. He is associate professor of history at the State University of New York at Stony Brook.

Table of Contents

Prologue. A Source for Silent Spring
Chapter 1. White City's Ghosts
Chapter 2. The Progressive Allure of the Worker's Ills
Chapter 3. A Public and Constructive Knowledge
Chapter 4. A Faltering Dream of Expertise
Chapter 5. Pax Toxicologica
Chapter 6. The Environmental Turn
Conclusion. Ordering Toxicity from the Workplace to the Environment

Making lead colors
"Heading up" barrels of lead
"Phossy Jaw" pamphlet
A worker with acute lead poisoning
A worker with chronic lead poisoning
Alice Hamilton
A cartoonist's rendition of the physical exam
David Edsall at work
Cecil Drinker in the laboratory
Joseph Aub and his laboratory team
Lawrence Fairhall inspecting a new measuring device
A carbon monoxide exposure chamber
A laboratory worker conducting an animal experiment
A mobile industrial hygiene laboratory
Paul Neal compiling statistics from physical exams
Robert Kehoe among the Mexicans

1. Diagnoses among males, German Hospital, Newark, New Jersey, 1888
2. Lead poisoning among males in selected late-ninteenth-century hospitals
3. "Hygiene of Occupations," Index Medicus listings, 1891-1898
4. Affiliations of presenters, First and Second National Conferences convened by AALL, 1910 and 1912
5. "Hygiene of Occupations," Index Medicus listings, 1903-1920
6. Research in industrial medicine, 1927
7. Content analysis of Journal of Industrial Hygiene, 1919-1940

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From the Publisher

For anyone wishing to learn about the chief actors behind the industrial hygiene movement, Sellers's book is a must-read.—Journal of Economic History

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