Lead poisoning in Australia 1890-2007

Eddington, Ian (2007) Lead poisoning in Australia 1890-2007. In: ICOH 2007: 3rd Conference of the Scientific Committee on the History of Prevention of Occupational and Environmental Diseases , 19-21 Apr 2007, Birmingham, England. (Unpublished)

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Abstract

A case study of lead poisoning in colonial Australia and beyond is used as a basis to raise questions about socio-scientific dimensions of public policy interventions to prevent harm from work. First, discussions about exposure to lead which resulted initially in lead poisoning in children and subsequently in chronic nephritis in some of those children reaching adulthood, were used as a basis to introduce a range of issues germane to disease prevention: the nature of scientific method, the nature of political and economic power, health communication, epidemiology and technology, the power of one and/or the few, bureaucratic systems, decision making under uncertainty, mind, will and morality, the efficacy of duty of care, and professional ethics. Second, some of these issues were further discussed in combination in order to focus on questions of human cognition, ethical social values and the human will in the context of public policy intervention. Third, general learnings about preventive public policy intervention were drawn out of the discussion and expressed in the form of actions the ICOH itself might consider adopting in order to make itself a more effective organisation.


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Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Commonwealth Reporting Category E) (Paper)
Refereed: No
Item Status: Live Archive
Additional Information: The work available here is in the form of a slide presentation used to complement a keynote address. In order to prevent 'Death by Powerpoint' on the day the slide presentation was organised in the form of a play. Different acts and scenes separate distinct sections in the presentation. Even so, it may not be easy for readers to follow the three discrete jumps outlined earlier in the abstract or to fully appreciate the nature and content of the verbal presentation, or for that matter to appreciate how the three seemingly separate parts of the paper hang together. The conference organisers did not proceed, as planned, to publish full proceedings and colleagues wishing to pursue the slide content further are welcome to contact the author (eddington@usq.edu.au). The ICOH actions list contained in the conclusion seems to have little connection with the earlier sections of the paper and this is because general lessons learned were translated into general things the ICOH might do to improve its effectiveness and usefulness which, amongst some ICOH members, I was questioning on the day.
Depositing User: Mr Ian Eddington
Faculty / Department / School: Historic - Faculty of Business - School of Accounting, Economics and Finance
Date Deposited: 21 Jun 2010 10:26
Last Modified: 02 Jul 2013 23:29
Uncontrolled Keywords: public policy strategy; lead poisoning; intervention to prevent harm from work
Fields of Research (FOR2008): 16 Studies in Human Society > 1605 Policy and Administration > 160508 Health Policy
11 Medical and Health Sciences > 1117 Public Health and Health Services > 111705 Environmental and Occupational Health and Safety
14 Economics > 1402 Applied Economics > 140208 Health Economics
Socio-Economic Objective (SEO2008): C Society > 94 Law, Politics and Community Services > 9499 Other Law, Politics and Community Services > 949999 Law, Politics and Community Services not elsewhere classified
C Society > 92 Health > 9204 Public Health (excl. Specific Population Health) > 920405 Environmental Health
URI: http://eprints.usq.edu.au/id/eprint/6136

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