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fishery and maritime industries or the various dust producing indoor industries. Nor can there be any doubt as to the injurious effects of the material with which he works upon the health of the worker whenever he labors where lead, mercury phosphorous, arsenic green and such similar chemical poisons are employed. As to the second class, or preventable diseases, it has become well known that where many persons are employed together in any indoor industry the ventilation and other sanitary conditions are likely to be so bad as to convert the employment, which in its own nature is not of a hurtful tendency, into an employment seriously dangerous to health. :
Nearly a half century ago the first general “ Public Health Act” was passed by the British Parliament.* In the report for 1863 of the medical officer of the Privy council, acting under that legislative measure, the following passage occurs in italics :
" In proportion as the people of a district are attracted to any indoor occupation, in such proportion, other things being equal, the district death rate by lung diseases will be increased, for the bad ventilation which, as a rule, belongs to the place of employments, tends to develop among the work people a large excess of phthisis, and probably also some excess of other fatal lung diseases. * * In every district which has a large indoor industry, the increased mortality is such as to color the death return of the whole district with a marked excess of lung disease.”
The official documents of France prove that in that country as in all others, “the population of the manufacturing towns is less vigorous than that of the rural districts.” One report says: “The population of the manufacturing towns are weak and diminutive, bent over their looms and living in shade they become etiolated like plants. Since the great increase of the manufactures in the department of the Haut Rhin (from 1810 to 1823) the average height of the people has not increased in the same proportion as in the neighboring department.”
In France, as elsewhere, the dust-producing occupations of all kinds have been the object of considerable investigation and have been found to be very detrimental to health. It has been discovered that dust from hard substances causes a greater number of consumptive cases than the dust from soft bodies or substances of ordinary hardness, while it has been found that the specific gravity of dusts does not effect in any marked degree the production of phthisis. Among the great number who have investigated the subject of phthisis and consumption, the researches of Drs. Benoiston and Lombard are remarkable. With great ingenuity they have calculated the influence of dust upon the human lungs. They have determined that mineral dust is the most detrimental to health; that animal dust is less obnoxious; and that vegetable dust is less deleterious than either. Many hundreds of the medical faculty have made searching investigations into the processes employed in the numerous match factories of France, and they all agree in substance, with the reports of the English doctors in declaring that bronchitis, more or less severe, the destruction of the teeth, necro. cis of the jaw bone, etc., are the invariable results of this industry, which is so dangerous to health.
*In 1848, the local government act of 1858 amended this, and in 1875 was passed the comprehensive consolidated act of 1875.
Speaking of “industrial diseases,” the medical officer of the Privy Council of Great Britain, in the report to which reference has already been made, has the following passages :
"In my fourth annual report I showed how practically impossi. ble it is for workpeople to insist upon that which in theory is their first sanitary right-the right that whatever work their employer assembles them to do, shall, so far as depends upon him, be, at his cost, divested of all needlessly unwholesome circumstances; and I pointed out that workpeople are practically unable to exact that sanitary juitice for themselves. * * * Since the making of that fourth report, my information on the industries of England has necessarily been increased and extended. And now, with this bettered information, I beg leave to express my opinion that the whole large question of the sanitary circumstances of labor demands very urgently the consideration of the legislature.
* So far as printers, tailors, and dressmakers are concerned, the appendix to my present report contains evidences which will, I think, be deemed sufficient to justify the opinion which I express; and lest the urgency of the case should be undervalued, I here insert a table, showing the excessive mortality of the London printers and London tailors as compared with the healthy standard of agricultural industry:
“I have no such statistics as regards dressmakers, nor can I, as regards any special industry, give death rates, calculated like the district death rates in the above table, for the one particular fatality of lung disease. But Dr. Smith's report tells, both for printers and for tailors, that phthisis and other lung diseases are notoriously in vast excess. He finds reason to believe that among the printers of London phthisis, in proportion to other diseases, is twice as prevalent as even among the general male population of London. He finds also that among tailors consumption and other forms of chest disease constitute two-thirds of all the causes of death..
" It will be seen that, at the age of 35—45, the mortality of London tailors is 57 per cent, higher than that of the male agricultural population. It also shows that at the age of 45-55 the London tailors have nearly twice, and the London printers more than twice, the mortality of the agriculturists.
“In support of the same opinion with regard to other industries, I would refer to the detailed evidence given in my third, fourth and fifth reports, and to the overwhelming statistical evidence which has been laid before Parliament. Especially would I advert again to the statistics which I have already quoted, with regard to the prevalence of pulinonary disease at our principal seats of textile industry, and in our straw plaiting, glove making, hosiery and lace making districts. And in further illustration of the case I would submit the annexed table, showing, too, how deplorable an extent various other industries tend to destroy their work people by
chronic lung diseases (here not usually phthisical, but irritative and inflamatory), which breaks them down in what would be their prime of life. By this table the fact is shown that, in the districts where the miners and metal forgers and cutlers, and potters follow their respective industries, the death rates, by lung disease of men, aged from 45-65, is from two and one-half times to eight times as high as in healthy agricultural districts.
" These arguments taken together, will, I trust, establish my position. Doubtless there may be some small technical difficulty in defining the exact line at which employers shall become subject to regulation; but I would submit that, in principle, the sanitary claim is universal, and in the interests of myriads of laboring men and women, whose lives are now needlessly afflicted and shortened by the infinite physical suffering which their mere employment en. genders, I would venture to express my hope, that universally the sanitary circumstances of labor may, at least so far, be brought within appropriate provisions of law, that the effective ventilation of all indoor workplaces may be ensured, and that in every naturally insalubrious occupation the specific health endangering influence may, as far as practicable, be reduced.”
In the third annual report of the medical officer of the Privy Council (for 1860), on the manufacture of Earthenware, speaking of the potters of Stokes-upon-Trent and Wolstanton, Dr. Greenhow, says: “In fact, as usually happens whenever the female population is largely employed in manufactures, the domestic education is deficient, whence results much sickness and mortality among children. One consequence of this is said to be a manifest deterioration of the race. It was stated by Mr. Boothroyd, a medical practitioner at Hanley, that each successive generation of potters becomes more dwarfed and less robust than the preceding one, and that in his opinion but for the occasional intermarriage with strangers, this deterioration would proceed even more rapidly. This statement was confirmed by Mr. McBean, another medical man, who said he had observed a marked degeneration in the potters, especially shown in a diminution of statures and breadth, since he had commenced practice among them twenty-five years ago. This falling off he attributed greatly to the neglect of children by their mothers, but more especially to the early age at which children are put to labor, and to the unhealthiness of many of the parents. Some of the evils incidental to a potter's life have, it is said, been aggravated by the circumstance, that there is now no cessation of work during the winter. Formerly the potteries were annually closed for some weeks in frosty weather. And this respite from labor afforded the potters time to recover, in some degree, from the diseases engendered by their occupation. Improvements have lately been intro
duced, which enable the potteries to continue in operation all the year round, and the advantage of the winter's respite is now lost to the operatives.”
Referring to the excessive mortality from lung diseases in Stokesupon-Trent and Wolstanton, the following statistical information is given:
“Notwithstanding only 36.6 per cent. of the men of Stokes above the age of 20 years and 30.4 per cent. of those of Wolstanton, were employed in the potteries in 1851, proportions which have probably not materially varied since that time, more than half, or 438 of 827, deaths of men over 20 years of age from pulmonary diseases during the five years 1855-59 in Stokes, and 241 out of 615, or nearly two-fifths of those of Woolstanton, were death of potters. This class of operatives has therefor suffered a much larger mortality from these diseases, in proportion to its number, than the rest of the population, and may therefor be presumed to be exposed to some causes productive of pulmonary diseases from which the rest of the population is exempt.”
In the supplement to the 35th (1871) annual report of the Register General of England, Dr. William Farr, makes this statement:
"The earthenware manufacture is one of the unhealthiest trades in the coutry. At joining the mortality is low; but after the age of 35 approaches, double the average; it is exceedingly high; it exceeds the mortality of the publicans." And he concludes by asking this pertinent question. “What can be done to save the men dying so fast in the potteries and engaged in one of our most useful manufactures ?
In another passage he says:
"Among the glass manufacturers the mortality is higher between the ages of 25 and 35 years than among the earthenware manufacturers."*
The admirable reports of Dr. Farr have been continued since his decease by Dr. Ogle, who ten years later, in his supplement to the 45th annual report of the Register-General gives the most recent and trustworthy information on the subject. For that report, the deaths, in combination with ages and occupations, have been abstracted for three entire years, 1880-82. The inquiry was limited to males, aged 15 and upwards, who, according to the census of 1881 for England and Wales, numbered 7,911,436, while the total
*For further death rates in the different occupations, see appendix.