Historical California Images - Silicon Valley Historical Association

A worker in Lompoc, California in 1958 is wearing protective clothing while handling bags of Dicalite

This 1958 historical photograph was provided by the Center for Disease Control's (CDC), National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), and depicted a worker in Lompoc, California, handling bags of diatomaceous earth while wearing protective clothing. 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, and is known as 'pneumoconiosis', which is also know an pneumosilicosis, or 'grinders' disease'.In gaining a better understanding of workplace hazards, protocol-formulating bodies such as NIOSH, are better able to create a safer workplace through substantiation of appropriate safety regulations.