World Library  
Flag as Inappropriate
Email this Article

Night air

Article Id: WHEBN0003528647
Reproduction Date:

Title: Night air  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: Jamie Woon, Superstitions, Miasma theory, Night, Spilling water for luck
Collection: History of Medicine, Night, Superstitions
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Publication
Date:
 

Night air

Prior to the late 19th century, night air was considered dangerous in most Western cultures. Based on “zymotic” theory, people believed vapors called “miasma” (plural "miasmata") rose from the soil and spread diseases. Miasmata was believed to come from rotting vegetation and foul water—especially in swamps and urban ghettos.

Many people, especially the weak or infirm, avoided breathing night air by going indoors and keeping windows and doors shut.

In addition to ideas associated with zymotic theory, there was also a general fear that cold or cool air spread disease.

The fear of night air gradually disappeared as understanding about disease increased as well as with improvements in home heating and ventilation.

Particularly important was the understanding that the agent spreading malaria was the mosquitoes (active at night) rather than miasmata.

See also

References

  • Baldwin, Peter C. "How Night Air Became Good Air, 1776-1930" in , July 2003Environmental History
  • Cipolla, Carlo M. Miasmas and disease: Public health and environment in the pre-industrial age. Yale University Press, 1992. ISBN 0-300-04806-8.

External links

  • Early theories of diseases (includes miasma theory)
This article was sourced from Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. World Heritage Encyclopedia content is assembled from numerous content providers, Open Access Publishing, and in compliance with The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., Public Library of Science, The Encyclopedia of Life, Open Book Publishers (OBP), PubMed, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and USA.gov, which sources content from all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government publication portals (.gov, .mil, .edu). Funding for USA.gov and content contributors is made possible from the U.S. Congress, E-Government Act of 2002.
 
Crowd sourced content that is contributed to World Heritage Encyclopedia is peer reviewed and edited by our editorial staff to ensure quality scholarly research articles.
 
By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. World Heritage Encyclopedia™ is a registered trademark of the World Public Library Association, a non-profit organization.
 



Copyright © World Library Foundation. All rights reserved. eBooks from World Library are sponsored by the World Library Foundation,
a 501c(4) Member's Support Non-Profit Organization, and is NOT affiliated with any governmental agency or department.