NIOSH in Cincinnati : a pictorial history Part II
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NIOSH in Cincinnati : a pictorial history Part II

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  • English

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      NIOSH in Cincinnati – How did it happen, and what has it looked like?

      How did federal industrial hygiene and occupational (and environmental) health research and service come to Cincinnati, and why did it stay? Interconnected stories of events, locations, buildings and artifacts provide glimpses of federal staff in Cincinnati investigating occupational health concerns and are a vital part of the history of NIOSH’s present.

      U.S. Public Health Service (PHS) Stream Pollution Investigations Station was established in Cincinnati in 1913 at the former U.S. Marine Hospital/Kilgour Mansion to conduct Congressionally-mandated investigations of sanitation, sewage, and other pollution of the Ohio River and its tributaries. The Ohio River was chosen as the inland water system to study. It is thought that Cincinnati was chosen as the Station headquarters because the former U.S. Marine Hospital, at the east end of downtown, was already there and available and because Cincinnati’s location approximate midway along the course of the Ohio River could be strategic and convenient.

      As a separate endeavor, the PHS began its Office of Industrial Hygiene and Sanitation in 1914, as part of the late Progressive Era concern to understand and alleviate diseases and death suffered by workers. The Office of Industrial Hygiene and Sanitation was first in Pittsburgh and moved to Washington, D.C. in 1918. As the country began to come out of the Great Depression in the late 1930s, The Division of Industrial Hygiene conducted and published important medical and hazard control studies, such as silicosis and lead poisoning in the pottery industry, mercurialism in the felt hat making industry, and the lead hazard of the storage battery industry.

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      NIOSH in Cincinnati – How did it happen, and what has it looked like? -- NIOSH Beginnings in Downtown Cincinnati -- Ridge Avenue Facility Before PHS -- NIOSH Becomes Sole Occupant of Ridge Avenue Facility -- NIOSH Cafeteria Puts Ridge Facility on Cincinnati’s Culinary Map -- Dedication of NIOSH Alice Hamilton Laboratory -- Dedication of NIOSH Cincinnati Staff.
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