Every article I wrote in those days, every speech I made, is full of pleading for the recognition of lead poisoning as a real and serious medical problem.
When employers tell me they prefer married men, and encourage their men to have homes of their own, because it makes them so much steadier, I wonder if they have any idea of all that that implies.
When I talked to my medical friends about the strange silence on this subject in American medical magazines and textbooks, I gained the impression that here was a subject tainted with Socialism or with feminine sentimentality for the poor.
There can be no intelligent control of the lead danger in industry unless it is based on the principle of keeping the air clear from dust and fumes.
It was also my experience at Hull-House that aroused my interest in industrial diseases.
Everything I discovered was new and most of it was really valuable.
It was easy to present figures demonstrating the contrast between lead work in the United States under conditions of neglect and ignorance, and comparable work in England and Germany, under intelligent control.
Illinois then had no legislation providing compensation for accident or disease caused by occupation.
It was impossible for me to believe that conditions in Europe could be worse than they were in the Polish section of Chicago, and in many Italian and Irish tenements, or that any workshops could be worse than some of those I had seen in our foreign quarters.
From the first I became convinced that what I must look for was lead dust and lead fumes, that men were poisoned by breathing poisoned air, not by handling their food with unwashed hands.
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