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May 16, 1980

At Work in Copper

Author Affiliations

American Medical Association Chicago


by Manuel Gomez, Richard Duffy, and Vincent Trivelli, vol 1; 284 pp, $40; vol 2, 336 pp, $20: vol 3; 448 pp, $20, New York, Inform, 1979.

JAMA. 1980;243(19):1957. doi:10.1001/jama.1980.03300450057033

This article is only available in the PDF format. Download the PDF to view the article, as well as its associated figures and tables.


These volumes report a careful investigation of occupational health and safety in 16 US copper smelteries where the chief hazards to health include exposures to arsenic, sulfur dioxide, aromatic hydrocarbons (from incomplete fuel combustion), and excessive noise. Each domestic smeltery is evaluated by criteria that include engineering control of health hazards, industrial hygiene programs, medical services, safety programs, and workers' rights. Volume 1 describes these criteria in light of the special problems and hazards of copper smelting, and the remaining volumes provide descriptions of each smeltery.

This report provides an insight into the working conditions in copper smelteries and the need to improve the health aspects of conditions under which people work in this industry. It will be of interest not only to physicians directly involved in occupational medicine but also to those living and practicing in communities where copper smelteries are located.