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January 13, 1900


JAMA. 1900;XXXIV(2):114-115. doi:10.1001/jama.1900.02460020050011

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The article by Betts, in this issue of The Journal, on the dust pneumonia from a gold-mining plant, makes a serious indictment of the management of such establishments. A mill employing on an average fifty men, with a monthly change or discharge list of fifteen, would itself be significant of something wrong. When out of a total of about one thousand employed during five years, one hundred, "conservatively speaking," have already died, and there is a prospect of many more following them, we see the unquestionable evidence of one of the most fatal of occupations. Dr. Betts gives a record of thirty deaths of previously robust workmen whose average time from first employment to death was twenty-nine months, with details of some of the cases and autopsies showing the lung conditions and leaving no question as to the cause of death. It is only just to say that Dr. Betts

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