History 430: Theory and Practice

Document Type

Undergraduate Research

Publication Date

Fall 12-10-2010


At its peak, Silicosis was defined as the most important industrial disease of the twentieth century. This disease was extremely widespread and affected almost every major industry involved with processing hard rock. Several factors led to the dissemination of this disease among the laborers of the world, especially, the lack of knowledge and understanding of the causes of silicosis and means of its prevention. As industry developed and technology progressed, industry and science made significant advances towards understanding and eliminating silicosis from the factories and mines of the world. This disease's eradication, however, required the cooperation of all affected. Proper use and integration of the various new technologies would be the key to eliminating silicosis. Industries experience in the early twentieth century shows that protection of industrial health must be realized through proper planning and an understanding that no simple answer exists to the problems industry faces.