Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 41.djvu/110

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der the skin, supposed by Krause (Baker's Kirk, page 427) to be between two and three millions in number in the parts where they are least abundant they are over four hundred to the square inch offers evidence of a physiological character on the point, even if, as is stated, some small part of skin perspiration takes place independently of these glands. Then we have the evidence of the disagreeable odor from the skin and clothes where cleanliness is not observed; again, we have the curious facts of death having both actually and nearly occurred in cases where the body has been covered (the mouth having been left free) with gold-leaf or plaster of Paris. Various explanations have been given, but Prof. Foster seems to think (page 697) that the retention of poisonous matters "constituents of sweat, or the products of some abnormal metabolism" (change) which would have been discharged through the sweat-glands, is largely concerned in the matter. We venture to believe quite independently of certain experiments that this conclusion can not be avoided.

We have also a most remarkable case recorded by Sir D. Galton. Some men in the horse artillery had left their bedding rolled up for two months, without its being opened to the air. When first used again, man after man who had slept on this bedding came into hospital with "a suspicious fever." It would be difficult to find a case that more vividly illustrates both the poisonous character of the emanations of the body and the necessity of free ventilation in order to render them harmless. Again, when serious consequences result from a chill owing to the constriction of the blood-vessels of the skin and interference with the sweatglands such as a dangerous affection of the kidneys (Richardson, page 283), or a congestion of the spleen (Richardson, page 307), or the inflammation of bone and periosteum (Richardson, page 323), it seems probable that the cause of mischief in all these cases is either the retention of normal poisons that ought to have escaped through the skin, or the formation of abnormal poisons during the inaction of the skin. [We think it is Dr. Richardson who makes this suggestion.] Again, the fetid exhalations from lungs and skin in starvation seem to show that the breaking down of tissue, which is very rapid in these cases, is resulting in a larger discharge than usual, through skin and lungs, of putrescent matter.

From what has been already said, we ought not to feel surprised that those who live in foul air are not only lowering their health, but are carefully preparing themselves both for lung and bronchial affections, and for such diseases as scarlet fever, typhoid, small-pox, dipththeria, dysentery, cholera, etc. As regards cholera, we extract the following interesting account given by Dr. Carpenter. He states (page 360) that in the fatal autumn of 1849 there was at Taunton an exceedingly badly ventilated workhouse. In