This historical image, which was provided by the Center for Disease Control's (CDC), National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), was shot inside a Connecticut hat manufacturing plant. The photograph depicted a hat factory worker at his assembly line workstation working with colorizing agents, in the manufacture of felt hats. Note that the man was not wearing a protective breathing mask, or goggles. Working as he was with steam, and processed animal fur, airborne remnants of mercury nitrate could have easily been liberated, which he would then readily inhale. Inhalation of airborne mecury componds would have eventually lead to neurologic pathology, due to toxic heavy metal mercurialism. The image was published in the 'Public Health Bulletin', No. 263, 1941, in an article entitled, 'Mercurialism and its Control in the Felt-Hat Industry".
CDC/ Barbara Jenkins, NIOSH; USPHS
December 4, 2012
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