When the Air Became Important: A Social History of the New England and Lancashire Textile Industries (Critical Issues in Health and Medicine) (Hardcover)

When the Air Became Important: A Social History of the New England and Lancashire Textile Industries (Critical Issues in Health and Medicine) Cover Image
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In When the Air Became Important, medical historian Janet Greenlees examines the working environments of the heartlands of the British and American cotton textile industries from the nineteenth to the late twentieth centuries. Greenlees contends that the air quality within these pioneering workplaces was a key contributor to the health of the wider communities of which they were a part. Such enclosed environments, where large numbers of people labored in close quarters, were ideal settings for the rapid spread of diseases including tuberculosis, bronchitis and pneumonia. When workers left the factories for home, these diseases were transmitted throughout the local population, yet operatives also brought diseases into the factory. Other aerial hazards common to both the community and workplace included poor ventilation and noise. Emphasizing the importance of the peculiarities of place as well as employers’ balance of workers’ health against manufacturing needs, Greenlees’s pioneering book sheds light on the roots of contemporary environmentalism and occupational health reform. Her work highlights the complicated relationships among local business, local and national politics of health, and community priorities.

About the Author

JANET GREENLEES is an associate professor of history at Glasgow Caledonian University in Scotland. She is the author or editor of several books, including Female Labour Power: Women Workers’ Influence on Business Practices in the British and American Cotton Industries, 1780-1860.

Praise For…

"This is a promising, important, and long-awaited project—the first comparative history of industry-related hazards in the United States and Britain.  The author has synthesized a vast body of research, much of it her own original work. At once comprehensive and selective, When the Air Became Important is illuminating scholarship." 

— Chris Sellers

"In this truly comparative social and environmental history of air pollution, Greenlees deftly weaves public health, regulatory politics and labor relations into a prescient reminder that protecting workers from hazardous workplaces remains a pressing issue on a global scale.?"

— Graham Mooney
Product Details
ISBN: 9780813587967
ISBN-10: 0813587964
Publisher: Rutgers University Press
Publication Date: March 15th, 2019
Pages: 264
Series: Critical Issues in Health and Medicine