Chapter

Safer, Healthier Workers: Advances in Occupational Disease and Injury Prevention

Anthony Robbins and Philip J. Landrigan

in Silent Victories

Published in print December 2006 | ISBN: 9780195150698
Published online September 2009 | e-ISBN: 9780199865185 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195150698.003.10
 Safer, Healthier Workers: Advances in Occupational Disease and Injury Prevention

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During the 20th century, the American workforce has faced many types of job-related injury and illness, ranging from exposure to hazardous chemical agents to extreme emotional stress and trauma. Such exposures and experiences can have numerous negative health outcomes, which can manifest immediately or after varying periods of time. The range of illness caused by work is broad and can involve every organ system; diseases linked to occupation in the last century include malignant mesothelioma in workers exposed to asbestos; bladder cancer in dye workers; and pneumoconiosis in coal miners. Conditions can be either acute or chronic and are manifested through classic symptoms or subtle clinical changes. This chapter examines the epidemiology of occupational disease and injury in the United States during the 20th century; introduces heroes such as Alice Hamilton in advancing occupational medicine; and explains the successes and failures in the prevention of occupational disease and injury.

Keywords: 20th century; public health; occupational medicine; work safety; occupational disease; occupational injury; asbestos; Alice Hamilton; disease prevention; job-related

Chapter.  9327 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Public Health and Epidemiology

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