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The Air Filter

The Air Filter image
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Professor Tyndall. aftcr a long series of experimenta with atmospheric air, ooncluded that niany of our most formidable diseases, such, forexample, as small pox, cholera, and typhoid, woro propagatcd by the flotation of invisible partióles in the atmosphere, and that, by theusoof asuitable breath filter, it would be practicable for any person to enter an infected apartment without dangor. Tho same uppar■tus, he statod, might be used by firemen, onabiing them to enter houses filled by dense smoko without injnry, as tho filter would arrest the partidos of carbon, of which smoke is composnd, allowing only the air to pass into the lungs. A further use of tho breath filter is to facilítate niiuers in. esploring and working in minos whero carbonic acid gas is present ín noxious proportions. A recent trial of filters, made substH.iitially as suggested by Professor Tyndall, has lately taken place in England, and we will describo somo of the results. The filter itself consists of a cylindor, four or five inches long and two inches or more in diameter, lts interior contains, at the top, a layer of cotton wool which has been moistened with glycerine, then a layer of dry cotton wool, then a layor of charcoal, then cotton wool, with wire gauzi" covers at both ends, and at the upper end a mouth piece so shaped as to fit closely OTer the mouth of the wearer. By drawing the breath through this instrument, tho most dense smoko may be entered with iinpunity. This filter has been tested by the London Fire Departmont with such succe8s that tho firemen of that city are to be provided with it for regular use. When places such as mines or wells are to be entered, whero carbonic acid gas is present, it is necessary to add another layer of cotton wool, and to place a layer of slaked lime between tho two bottom layers of cotton. The object of the lime ís to arrest the carbonic acid and oxido gases. A recent test consrsted in placing tho experimenter,. who had one of tho instrumenta- secured ovor his mouth, within a urail closet, with a rabbit and two birds for companions. Carbonic acid gas and carbonic oxido were then injected until the atmosphere of tho closet was rendered highly poisonous. In 23 minutes tho animals were dead, but the experimenter came out at the end of 30 minutes, having-suflfered no inconvenience from the noxious gases ; but the work of breathing through the small instrument for so long a period and the heat of sosmall an apartment rendered him uncomfortablo. Experiment are still in progrese to, determine the best sizes and forms for tho instrument, and ere long we may expect that the air filter will be an instrument of common use. - íÉljepit]tpnrgtt$


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