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Ramazzini, Bernardino

Ramazzini, Bernardino

Ramazzini, Bernardino, 1633-1717, Italian physician. He was professor at Modena (1682-1700) and at Padua until 1714. He is often called the father of industrial medicine, and his De Morbis Artificium was the first systematic exposition of occupational disease. Ramazzini saw the relationship between various metals and the symptoms of metallic poisoning that developed in the artisans who worked with them, and he recognized that paints were a factor in the poisoning of painters. He also made studies of diseases in other occupations (e.g., lung diseases of miners, eye conditions of printers). Although most physicians of that period prescribed cinchona bark (the source of quinine) for every type of fever, Ramazzini opposed such indiscriminate use of the drug and correctly reserved it for the treatment of malarial attacks only. He was also an epidemiologist; he described several plagues that occurred in his region.

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