Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 81.djvu/397

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391
STUFFY ROOMS

amount of the gas made no sensible difference to them, but increased their pulmonary ventilation. In every one of the experiments they suffered from the heat, and the putting on of the fans gave great relief, and in particular diminished the pulse rate during and after the working periods. The relief became much greater when cold water was circulated through the radiator and the temperature of the chamber lowered 10° F. The subjects wore only a vest, pants and shoes in most of these experiments. When they wore their ordinary clothing the effect on the frequency of the pulse was more marked and the discomfort from heat and moisture much greater.

I have made observations on men dressed in the Fleuss rescue apparatus for use in mines, and exposed in a chamber to 120° F. dry bulb and 95° F. wet bulb. The skin temperature rises to the rectal temperature and the pulse is greatly accelerated—e. g., to 150—and there arises danger of heat stroke. The conditions are greatly relieved by interposing on the inspiratory tube of the apparatus a cooler filled with carbonic-acid snow. The cool inspired air lowers the frequency of the heart and makes it possible for the men to do some work at 95° F. wet bulb, and to endure this temperature for two hours.

The observations made by Pembrey and Collis on the weaving-mill operatives at Darwen show that the skin of the face may be 4° to 13° F. higher in the mill when the wet bulb is 71° F. than at home when the wet-bulb temperature is about 55° F. The tendency of the warm, humid atmosphere of the mill is to establish a more uniform temperature of the body as a whole (surface and deep temperatures) and to throw a tax upon the power of accommodation as indicated by the rapid pulse and low blood-pressure.

The mill-workers are wet with the steam blown into the sheds, their clothes and bodies are moist, and the long hours of exposure to such uncomfortable conditions are most deleterious to physical vigor and happiness. The operatives asked that they might be allowed to work without steam-injectors and with diminished ventilation, so that the mill rooms became saturated with moisture evaporated from the bodies of the operatives. The old regulations, while forbidding more than 6 parts in 10,000 , put no limit to the wet-bulb temperature, and this often became excessive on hot summer days. The operatives were quite right. Less ventilation and a lower wet bulb is far better than ample ventilation and a high wet bulb. The permissible limit of has now been raised to 11 parts in 10,000, and the wet-bulb temperature is to be controlled within reasonable limits.

The efficiency of workers in mills, mines, tunnels, stoke-holes, etc., is vastly increased by the provision of a sufficient draught of cool and relatively dry air, so as to prevent over-taxing of the heat-regulating mechanism. Mr. F. Green informs me that by means of forced