|Description:||This October, 1951 photograph was provided by the Center for Disease Control's (CDC), National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH). The image depicted two men in the process of unloading mercury-treated grain, which had been brought inside the confines of a grain elevator storage facility. During the 1950s and 1960s, mercury was used in agricultural settings as a fungicidal seed treatment in the form of methylmercury, and had been known to enter the human-inclusive food chain when farm-raised birds such as turkeys and phesants consumed mercury-treated grains. The customery use of mercuric fungicides, has for the most part, been discontinued in the developed world, but may still be implemented in the underdeveloped world. This compound need not be ingested in order to impart its neurotoxic effects to humans, but may also be readily absorbed through the skin as well, with the nervous system being the site of its selective concentration.|
Occupational medicine is the branch of clinical medicine most active in the field of occupational health and safety. Its principal role is the provision of health advice to organizations and individuals, in order to ensure that the highest standards of workplace health and safety can be achieved, and maintained.
In gaining a better understanding of workplace hazards, through hands-on and on-site information acquisition, protocol-formulating bodies such as NIOSH, are better able to create a safer workplace through substantiation of appropriate safety regulations.
The NIOSH Historic Photo Collection was the “picture file” of the Industrial Hygiene Division of the U.S. Public Health Service (USPHS) (c. 1930-1960). It is both a unique mid-20th century image collection of people in workplace environments, and a documentary record of the science of studying workers and the workplace. The collection consisted of photographs, and some original drawings.