1915 The Sanitary Engineer
HERE are the facts about sweeping in the city of Toronto: It is a misdemeanour to sweep the sidewalks without first applying moisture, and further it is also illegal to sweep the floor refuse or dust from an office store or factory into the street, whether moisture is put upon the refuse or not.
This is the law which is enforced in Toronto. The Sanitary Engineer endorses that law. every word of it. But what about sweeping the floors in the insideof the homes? Of course it is quite permissible to sweep one’s own room up with a broom, and nothing said about it. If there is one thing more than another which should be abolished, it is the broom. If the Sanitary Engineer had its way every house would be properly piped and a stationary vacuum cleaner installed, just as every house must now be equipped with a w.c, etc.
The stationary vacuum cleaner is the only thing. Of course we know there are quite a number of small portable vacuum cleaners which are a great improvement over the broom, but these have to be bought by the householder, and every householder has not the means to buy such an appliance. The SanitaryEngineer contends that a vacuum cleaner is just as necessary as any other sanitary appliance, and should be a part of the house. No doubt if some speculative builders had their own way the tenant would have to install his own plumbing fixtures. It is bad enough having to install one’s own electric fixtures.
This latter means a lot of waste money. No house is complete unless it is equipped with every fixture which has to be attached to the building in anyway before it can be used. In conclusion we assert that as it is a misdemeanor, punishable by a fine, to sweep refuse from a building into the street, or sweep sidewalks, it should also be the same for sweeping the dust up in the home. Dust, causes the atmosphere to become polluted, and polluted air is not fit for human beings to breathe. There are more cases of tuberculosis caused by persons breathing foul air than by any-thing else. The Sanitary Engineer has waged war against the joller towel, and the drinking: cup. We will spare no effort- until the broom is a thing of the past, and every house is hy law equiped with a stationary vacuum cleaner.
Dust is the silent sneaking death dealing germ, one which we do not realize,because of its silent operation. There are three women to every man sent to our hospitals for treatment. This comes to a large degree from the fact that women live indoors and breathe a dust laden second-hand atmosphere which depletes their vitality. ‘”Dust particles inhaled in the home are more dangerous than those breathed in from the street.” says Dr. Jos. S. Xeff. “This is because indoor dust is rarely subjected to the purifying action of light and the sun’s rays.” And yet in the city of Toronto, a city of half a million souls, the dusty sidewalks must not be swept unless that dust is moistened, while almost every housewife is allowed to commit slow lingering suicide by sweeping the germ laden dust of her home with a broom and by inhaling those germs by the million. Doesn’t such a state of affairs
1915 The Sanitary Engineer