Healthful Living


Chapter 24—Hygiene

Hygiene of the Home and Premises

612. Dwellings, if possible, should be built upon high and dry ground. If a house be built where water settles around it, remaining for a time and then drying away, a poisonous miasma arises, and fever and ague, sore throat, lung diseases, and fevers will be the result.—How to Live 4:64. HL 140.1

613. If every family realized the beneficial results of thorough cleanliness, they would make special efforts to remove every impurity from their persons and from their houses, and would extend their efforts to their premises. Many suffer decayed vegetable matter to remain about their premises. They are not awake to the influence of these things. There is constantly arising from the decayed substances an effluvium that is poisoning the air. By inhaling the impure air, the blood is poisoned, the lungs become affected, and the whole system is diseased.—How to Live 4:60. HL 140.2

614. Stubborn fevers and violent diseases have prevailed in neighborhoods and towns that had formerly been considered healthy, and some have died, while others have been left with broken constitutions to be crippled with disease for life. In many instances their own yards contained the agent of destruction, which sent forth deadly poison into the atmosphere to be inhaled by the family and the neighborhood. The slackness and recklessness sometimes witnessed is beastly, and the ignorance of the results of such things upon health is astonishing. Such places should be purified, especially in summer, by lime or ashes, or by a daily burial with earth.—How to Live 4:61. HL 140.3

615. Shade-trees and shrubbery too close and dense around a house are unhealthful; for they prevent a free circulation of air, and prevent the rays of the sun from shining through sufficiently. In consequence of this a dampness gathers in the house. Especially in wet seasons the sleeping-rooms become damp, and those who sleep in the beds are troubled with rheumatism, neuralgia, and lung complaints, which generally end in consumption. Numerous shade-trees cast off many leaves, which, if not immediately removed, decay, and poison the atmosphere. A yard, beautiful with scattering trees, and some shrubbery at a proper distance from the house, has a happy, cheerful influence upon the family, and if well taken care of, will prove no injury to health.—How to Live 4:64. HL 141.1

616. Rooms that are not exposed to light and air become damp. Beds and bedding gather dampness, and the atmosphere in these rooms is poisonous, because it has not been purified by light and air. Various diseases have been brought on by sleeping in these fashionable, health-destroying apartments.... Sleeping-rooms especially should be well ventilated, and the atmosphere made healthful by light and air. Blinds should be left open several hours each day, the curtains put aside, and the room thoroughly aired; nothing should remain, even for a short time, which would destroy the purity of the atmosphere.—How to Live 4:62. HL 141.2

617. Sleeping apartments should be large and so arranged as to have a circulation of air through them day and night.—How to Live 4:63. HL 142.1

618. Rooms that are not freely ventilated daily, and bedding that has not been thoroughly dried and aired, are not fit for use. We feel confident that disease and great suffering are brought on by sleeping in rooms with closed and curtained windows, not admitting pure air and the rays of the sun.... The room may not have had an airing for months, nor the advantages of a fire for weeks, if at all. It is dangerous to health and life to sleep in these rooms until the outside air shall have circulated through them for several hours and the bedding shall have been dried by the fire. Unless this precaution is taken, the rooms and bedding will be damp. Every room in the house should be thoroughly ventilated every day, and in damp weather should be warmed by fires.... Every room in your dwelling should be daily thrown open to the healthful rays of the sun, and the purifying air should be invited in. This will be a preventive of disease.... If all would appreciate the sunshine, and expose every article of clothing to its drying, purifying rays, mildew and mold would be prevented. The confined air of unventilated rooms meets us with sickening odors of mildew and mold, and the impurities exhaled by its inmates.... The emanations from damp, moldy rooms and clothing are poisonous to the system.—The Health Reformer, February 1, 1874. HL 142.2