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JAMA 100 Years Ago
May 11, 2011


JAMA. 2011;305(18):1918. doi:10.1001/jama.2011.573

Impure air has long been considered the direct cause of many diseases which modern medicine can no longer explain on that basis. Laymen still not infrequently ascribe such diseases as typhoid and diphtheria to “sewer-gas” contamination, and the very name of malaria bears testimony to the erroneous theory with regard to it formerly held by the medical profession. But there remains a large and important class of diseases, principally of the respiratory tract, in the production of which atmospheric impurities play no small part. So, for instance, workers in the dust-producing industries are notoriously liable to tuberculosis, to say nothing of the added danger in the case of those dusts that in themselves are poisonous.

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