A hundred years ago July 2, 1921 Archives

From the Archives (July 2, 1921): The disappearance of colds

The Medical Correspondent of the “Times” writes in its Trade Supplement: - Few more astonishing examples of the inter-relationship of health and work have ever been afforded than the gradual clearing away of smoke which has taken place in the atmospheres of all our great cities during the present crisis. It is a tragic spectacle enough; but if the lessons which it teaches are learned, we may yet be able to reap some advantage from it. The first of these lessons is evidently purely commercial. It is the sheer, the absurd, waste represented by all this unburnt and half-burnt fuel which ten thousand chimneys belch into our air. This lesson does not concern health except in so far as it indicates in what way man may cheat himself of the fruit of his labour and so remain a poorer individual than he need —and hence a less healthy one. The second lesson concerns us all. For this coal dust, so freely driven into our air, is an irritant. It is moreover a screen shutting out that portion of the sunlight which acts as a cleanser and a killer of bacteria.

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