Location

Harkins 301

Event Website

https://www.providence.edu/hpm/Pages/Conference.aspx

Start Date

12-4-2014 1:45 PM

End Date

12-4-2014 3:00 PM

Description

Public transportation vehicles such as trains or buses have a reputation as unsanitary. Many riders of public transit are concerned with the health risks they are facing in regards to contagion. Perceptions of cleanliness derive from public health historically, with class, morality, and good health tied together in the American public’s attitudes. Certainly, infectious disease and sanitation are directly correlated in many instances, such as in the highly overcrowded and dirty cities in the early twentieth-century United States. Those living in filthy conditions (particularly, lower class individuals) were not only prone to becoming ill, but also considered to be immoral for not practicing proper cleanliness and hygiene. Such perceptions of cleanliness tied to class and morality still remain, as current attitudes about public transit reveal. However, according to various studies, despite the prevalent perception of public transit as filthy and unhealthy, collected specimens show that not as many harmful bacteria reside in the subway as most think. Furthermore, riding the bus or train every day to go to work is actually a great way to be exposed to pathogens in order to build a stronger immune system. In fact, growing health concerns having to do with obesity or other chronic diseases are said to be results of less people using the transit. Therefore, the public perception of cleanliness correlated with health is not quite accurate. This paper explores the current perceptions versus reality of health risks of public transportation in historical context.

 
Apr 12th, 1:45 PM Apr 12th, 3:00 PM

Public Transportation: Perceptions of Filth Contributing to Poor Health

Harkins 301

Public transportation vehicles such as trains or buses have a reputation as unsanitary. Many riders of public transit are concerned with the health risks they are facing in regards to contagion. Perceptions of cleanliness derive from public health historically, with class, morality, and good health tied together in the American public’s attitudes. Certainly, infectious disease and sanitation are directly correlated in many instances, such as in the highly overcrowded and dirty cities in the early twentieth-century United States. Those living in filthy conditions (particularly, lower class individuals) were not only prone to becoming ill, but also considered to be immoral for not practicing proper cleanliness and hygiene. Such perceptions of cleanliness tied to class and morality still remain, as current attitudes about public transit reveal. However, according to various studies, despite the prevalent perception of public transit as filthy and unhealthy, collected specimens show that not as many harmful bacteria reside in the subway as most think. Furthermore, riding the bus or train every day to go to work is actually a great way to be exposed to pathogens in order to build a stronger immune system. In fact, growing health concerns having to do with obesity or other chronic diseases are said to be results of less people using the transit. Therefore, the public perception of cleanliness correlated with health is not quite accurate. This paper explores the current perceptions versus reality of health risks of public transportation in historical context.

http://digitalcommons.providence.edu/auchs/2014/panelc2/2