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Health, or, How to Live

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    VENTILATION

    It is much to be regretted, that in connection with the various improvements, which the style of building and the internal arrangement of our houses, have undergone within the last ten years, more attention has not been paid to the means of insuring a free ventilation throughout every apartment. In the large and sumptuous dwellings of the rich, the wide halls, lofty ceilings, and free communication existing between the principal apartments, prevent, it is true, most of the causes of complaint in this respect; but in the more numerous and humble dwellings, occupied by the laborer, as well as by the industrious mechanic and artisan, and in the buildings appropriated for workshops, stores, and warehouses, the means of ventilation, have, in too many cases, been sadly neglected. As a necessary consequence, cleanliness is prevented, and the health and comfort of the inhabitants and inmates, prejudiced to a greater or less extent. A free circulation of air, in and about a building, is of too much importance to allow of its being sacrificed, from motives of economy, avarice, or mere convenience. Air, when it is confined for any time within a room, or rendered stagnant by any other means, soon becomes, not only unfitted for respiration, but absolutely destructive to life. Under such circumstances, its composition is quickly changed from various causes; while at the same time, it is loaded with dust and deleterious exhalations given out by the human body, even in health, or produced from the decomposition of animal or vegetable substances. Every one who has entered a room that has been completely shut up even for a few days, whether inhabited or not, must have been struck with the peculiar smell of the air in it, and experienced the disagreeable sensation caused by its admission into the lungs. The walls and furniture are soon covered with a damp mold, every thing within the apartment of a perishable nature, falls quickly into decay, and affords materials for the still further vitiation of the atmosphere. Many complain of the unpleasant smell and dampness of their houses, without suspecting for a moment that this is merely the result of defective ventilation.HHTL 211.1

    It is all-important, therefore, that the air from without should be allowed to enter freely into every part of a building, if not in a continued current, at least at frequent intervals, so as fully to expel that previously existing in the several departments. The causes of deficient ventilation are either the location of the building in narrow crowded courts or alleys — the want of a free communication between the different rooms, in each story — the improper position of the doors and windows, or the want of an open space of sufficient extent in the rear of the house, in consequence of which, the free circulation of the air is entirely prevented. The healthiness of a dwelling is increased very considerably, by allowing to it a capacious yard, which may either be well paved, laid down in grass, or cultivated as a flower garden.HHTL 212.1

    In the largest and best constructed houses, ventilation should be promoted by leaving the doors and windows open several hours during the day, in fair weather and when the air is driest. Even in winter a proper opportunity should be taken, during the day, to admit freely the external air in every apartment of the house, especially the bedrooms; the ventilation of workshops and manufactories can be maintained by proper furnaces, which, while they supply a current of heated air for warming the apartment, cause its atmosphere to be constantly renewed. — Journal of Health.HHTL 212.2

    Clean houses, clean raiment, clean and wholesome food and drink, are essentially necessary to comfort, to constitute us Christians, and to protect us against pollution. Unclean clothing, unwholesome food and drink, prepare the way to a life of impurity. — Health Journal.HHTL 212.3

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