Fósforo, chumbo e rádio em Mumford (1934)

The paleotechnic phase was ushered in by a slaughter of the innocents: first in the cradle, and then, if they survived it, in the textile factories and the mines. Child labor remained in the cotton mills in the United States, for example, right down to 1933. As a result of greater care during pregnancy and childbirth, together with a better regimen in infancy, the mortality of children under five years has been enormously decreased-all the more because certain typical children’s diseases are, through modern immunology, under better control. This increasing care of life has spread slowly to the occupations of maturity: mark the introduction of safety devices in dangerous industrial operations, such as masks in grinding and spraying, asbestos and mica clothing where the dangers of fire and heat are great, the effort to abolish lead glazes in pottery, to eliminate phosphorous poisoning in the preparation of matches and radium poisoning in the preparation of watch-dials. These negative measures toward health are, of course, but a beginning: the positive fostering [249] of the life-conserving occupations and the discouragement of those forms of industry which decrease the expectation of life without any compensatory intensification of it during production-all this awaits a culture more deeply concerned with life than even the neotechnic one, in which the calculus of energies still takes precedence over the calculus of life. (Mumford 1934:248-9)

MUMFORD, Lewis. 1934. Technique and civilization. New York: Harcourt, Brace and Company.