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Dust-induced diseases have been recognized since antiquity: medieval lapidaties died of them, as did countless miners, stonecutters, and metal polishers. With the development of steam- and, later, gasoline-powered machinery early in the 20th century, however, workers in such trades were exposed to dramatically increased levels of dust. The result was a minor epidemic of dust-induced diseases, notably silicosis, that aroused both popular and medical attention in the 1920s and 1930s. came increasingly concerned about "consumption" around the turn of the century, especially after steam-driven equipment replaced hand drills and sledgehammers. Granite cutters complained that the new equipment raised unhealthy levels of dust, a charge that epidemiological studies eventually corroborated (a 1934 study showed that granite cutters were dying of tuberculosis at rates up to ten times higher than was average for males in Massachusetts). In November 1909, granite cutters near Barre, Vt, voted to refuse to use the "man killer"
Horwitz DL. Clinical Diabetes Mellitus: A Problem-Oriented Approach. JAMA. 1992;267(13):1842-1843. doi:10.1001/jama.1992.03480130162048