• Agenda mòbil UV

Judith Rainhorn Seminar

Seminario impartido por Judith Rainhorn

Date: 14 february 2018 at 16:00 to 18:00. Wednesday.


Place: Instituto de Historia de la Medicina y la Ciencia "López Piñero". Palau de Cerveró. Sala de conferencias.


“A legal poison. About how the lead paint poisoning industry remained dominant despite the regulation of health and safety at work. France, 1820-1926.”

My work will address the crucial question of health and safety at work during the industrial era, emphasising in the history of growing, massive use and final regulation of a toxic product: The Venetian Ceruse – also known as white lead – responsible of the lead poisoning (or saturnism) of workers who produce it and painters who use it. Based on an empiric work through a broad variety of archives, which formed the core of my current work, I will research on the global interaction that lead the question of the occupational safety and health to be on the politic agenda during the era of the industrialisation.

I uphold that the French State was for more than a century in the middle of a complex conspiracy of power and interests to establish a healthy industrial society. Being interrupted by several revolutions and coup d’états during the 19th century – five political systems –, France addressed irregularly the question of health and safety at work. Being a terrifying ghost, the issue of the lead paint mobilised multiple interested people such as State men, manufacturers, employees and trade unions, scientists and doctors, politicians and the public opinion – also some international organisations. All these key players tried to achieve their goal: to ban paint with or without lead by making their own path through the State authority. Sometimes, the State – considered in different scales: government, parliament, local authorities, etc. – assumed its responsibility in the implementation of environmental and healthcare regulation. On the contrary, in some occasions, it seemed impotent and absent of the growing moves in health and safety. The history of lead paint and the State serves as an historical referent to reevaluate other health and safety problems during the 19th century.

Organized by:

Instituto de Historia de la Medicina y la Ciencia "López Piñero".


Contact: mrile@uv.es

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