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Article
May 1926

AN OCCUPATIONAL DISEASE AMONG ZINC WORKERS

Author Affiliations

WITH THE COLLABORATION OF WILLIAM E. BROWN, M.D., and DOROTHY K. MINSTER, A.B. CINCINNATI

From the department of bacteriology and preventive medicine, University of Cincinnati College of Medicine, and the Industrial Health Conservancy Laboratories, Cincinnati.

Arch Intern Med (Chic). 1926;37(5):641-659. doi:10.1001/archinte.1926.00120230046003
Abstract

Any toxic properties of zinc resulting in chronic industrial disease are commonly denied. Recognition is given to an acute form of zinc poisoning under such designations as "spelter chills," "zinc fever," "brass founders' ague," "smelter shakes," etc. As early as 1888, Simon1 in his description of this acute zinc poisoning records the absence of any chronic manifestations. Hayhurst2 states, "The physician must get away from the idea of attempting to diagnose chronic zinc or brass poisoning, as there probably is no such condition." Later this statement is mitigated in discussing the possible chronic effects of brass poisoning2: "In Chicago the fact that 85 per cent of 1,761 foundry workers (brass) were under 40 years of age, and only 1 per cent over 50 years, was explained by employers as due to `slowing up' or beginning decrepitude, and by workmen, as gradual incapacitation from the inhalation of brass fumes and the

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