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Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 54.djvu/453

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435
THE SUMMER HEAT OF CITIES.

These statistics demonstrate the extreme unhealthfulness of New York during the summer, and the vast proportion of children who perish from the fatal agencies which are then brought into activity. It is a matter of great public concern to determine the nature of the unhygienic conditions on which this excessive mortality depends, and thus discover the proper remedial measures.

As high temperature is the distinguishing feature of the summer months, we very naturally conclude that excessive heat is a most important factor, if not the sole cause, of the diseases so fatal to human life at this period. A close comparison of the temperature and mortality records of any summer in this city demonstrates the direct relation

 
Week ending Total
diarrhœal
diseases.
Diarrhœal
diseases un-
der five yrs.
Mean tempera-
ture (Fahren-
heit).
Maximum
temperature
(Fahrenheit).
Minimum
temperature
(Fahrenheit).
May 7th 10 8 52.4° 42° 47°
May 14th 20 17 55.5° 77° 40°
May 21st 14 12 63.3° 86° 52°
May 28th 22 19 60.9° 70° 56°
June 4th 18 16 65.8° 76° 54°
June 11th 26 20 71.6° 86° 58°
June 18th 36 32 73.0° 89° 59°
June 25th 74 69 69.3° 94° 54°
July 2d 170 164 78.6° 94° 67°
July 9th 399 382 77.4° 100° 61°
July 16th 330 321 71.1° 91° 57°
July 23d 388 356 77.4° 91° 67°
July 30th 380 353 78.5° 95° 70°
August 6th 380 353 78.8° 92° 67°
August 13th 342 306 73.9° 90° 65°
August 20th 290 261 74.8° 89° 64°
August 27th 268 246 76.6° 93° 63°
September 3d 289 256 79.0° 93° 59°
September 10th 283 255 74.0° 92° 58°
September 17th 179 158 67.3° 85° 52°
September 24th 193 167 68.7° 90° 52°
October 1st 132 117 66.5° 80° 54°
October 8th 90 78 69.6° 81° 53°
October 15th 71 58 60.1° 74° 49°
October 22d 54 42 55.9° 71° 44°
October 29th 39 32 53.9° 67° 41°
 

of the former to the latter. For illustration, we will take the records of the Health Department during the past summer, selecting diarrhœal diseases for comparison, as they prevail and are most fatal at that season of the year. The table gives the total mortality from these diseases and the mortality from those diseases of children under five years of age. To the four months, June, July, August, and September, are added May and October, for the purpose of showing the gradual increase of the mortality from these diseases as the hot weather approaches and its decline as the hot weather abates.

Again, if we compare the temperature and mortality records for a series of days instead of months, it will be noticed that the mortality