This 1958 historical photograph was provided by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC), National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), and depicted a worker replacing the filter cartridge, for the ventilating unit inside an enclosed truck cab. The truck was one of a fleet located at a diatomaceous earth quarry plant in Lompoc, California. This ventilation reduced a driver’s exposure to quarry dust, and the amount of dust brought home on his clothes. The image originally appeared in a U.S. Public Health Service Publication, No. 601, in an article entitled, Pneumoconiosis in Diatomite Mining and Processing, 1958. Inhaled dust, or other airborne particulate materials containing silica that is deposited in the lungs, will cause the lung tissue to react, by creating generalized nodular fibrotic changes, known as pneumoconiosis, pneumosilicosis, or grinders’ disease.
The NIOSH Historic Photo Collection began as the picture file of the Industrial Hygiene Division of the U.S. Public Health Service (USPHS), c. 1930-1960. It is a unique collection of mid-20th Century images of American workers and workplaces and documents occupational safety and health research of that era. The collection consists of approximately 1,000 original photographs and schematic drawings.