KEEPING WELL 411
It must be remembered that all methods of artificial heating dry, to an unwholesome degree, the atmosphere which has been heated. They also introduce into it not infrequently many objectionable elements, offensive odors, dust, coal gas, etc. The excessive dryness of the atmosphere can always be remedied by the evaporation of water in the room to which the heat is applied, and a good plan of ventilation will keep the air tolerably pure. As a matter of fact, the majority of houses which are heated artificially are unhealthful.
Disease in the temperate zone is more frequent and more fatal in the winter than in the summer months, and this is probably owing to the diminished resisting power which results from the constant breathing of vitiated air in over-heated houses.
The Plumber's Work
The introduction of running water placed into places of residence, with the accompanying series of waste pipes leading to sewers and cesspools, has added greatly to the comfort of living. In many communities it has done away with the inconvenient and often unsanitary outhouse, it has vastly increased the use of the bath, it has diminished the labor of transporting the water supply to the various parts of a house—often a matter of great importance when the house is large and its occupants many—and in numerous other ways it has been of great benefit. It is not surprising that the blessing which has resulted has not been an unmixed one. Pipes made of lead (and plumbing means working in lead) seem to have been usually preferred for the conveyance of the water, partly for economy's sake, partly because lead is easily worked. They may also be corroded and dissolved, and not a few cases of lead poisoning are doubtless traceable to drinking water which has been contaminated by standing in pipes which have yielded more or less of their substance to it.
Very hot water is, of course, much more likely to dissolve the lead through which it passes than is cold water, and the experience of corroded pipes riddled with holes from such a cause is not an unfamiliar one. A more resisting, more dura-