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JAMA Revisited
September 13, 2016

Public Decency and Public Health

JAMA. 2016;316(10):1118. doi:10.1001/jama.2015.17101

Hygienists are beginning to recognize that some of the public expenditures which are the outcome of modern demands for improved sanitation are not always directly justifiable on the plea of a menace to public health. Municipal baths, for example, embody elements of comfort and personal luxury as well as factors which contribute indirectly to health. Certain aspects of the complex problems of garbage collection, such as the transportation of decaying organic matter through public thoroughfares, are often objected to on the plea of danger to the health of the community, whereas it is usually the senses of sight and smell that are offended rather than the general physical well-being of the persons concerned.

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