A Treatise on Physiology and Hygiene For Educational Institutions and General Readers

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Source: http://gutenberg.org

Copyright: This work is in the public domain in the USA only.

This historic book may have numerous typos and missing text. Purchasers can download a free scanned copy of the original book (without typos) from the publisher. Not indexed. Not illustrated. 1887 Excerpt: ... AlP.--Attention has lately been directed to the dust, or haze, that marks the ray of sunshine across a shaded room. Just as, many years ago, it was discovered that myriads of animalcules were found in the water we drank, so now the microscope reveals "the gay motes that dance along a sunbeam" to contain multitudes of animal and vegetable forms of a very low grade--the germs of fermentation and decay, and the probable sources of disease. 31. It is found that the best filter by which to separate this floating dust from the air is cotton wool, although a handkerchief will imperfectly answer the same purpose. In a lecture on this subject by Prof. Tyndall, he remarks that, "by breathing through a cotton wool respirator, the noxious air of the sick-room is restored to practical purity. Thus filtered, attendants may breathe the air unharmed. In all probability, the protection of the lungs will be the protection of the whole system. For it is exceedingly probable that the germs which lodge in the air-passages are those which sow epidemic disease in the body. If this be so, then disease can certainly be warded off by filters of cotton wool. By this means, so far as the germs are concerned, the air of the highest Alps may be brought into the chamber of the invalid." 32. Carbonic Acid in the Air.--We have already spoken of this gas as an exhalation from the lungs, and a source of impurity; but it exists naturally in the atmosphere in the proportion of onehalf part per thousand. In volcanic regions it is poured forth in enormous quantities from fissures in the earth's surface. Being heavier than air, it sometimes settles into caves and hollows in the surface. It is stated that in the island of Java, there is a place called the "Valley of Poiso...