Risk and Respirators: The Hazardous Trajectories of Soviet Occupational Safety, 1940s–80s
This article explores a distinct Soviet policy of occupational care that emerged after World War II, when Soviet industry invented an array of respiratory protective equipment (RPE). The annual production of millions of devices highlighted the development of a complex Soviet transinstitutional system for insuring safe occupational breathing. Following key premises of respiratory safety policies in the activities of Soviet organizations, this article traces a biopolitical shift from mortality to vitality. By showing the curial role of RPE in the history of occupational rather than military safety in the twentieth century, the article fills a major research gap to feature Soviet modernity through the unique lens of industrial respiratory care in postwar Soviet Union between the late 1940s and the early 1990s.