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MEANS OF CAUSING OR AVOIDING ILLNESS (RHEUMATISM)

BEING EXPOSED TO EITHER A FAN OR TO AIR-CONDITIONING FOR MORE THAN
A FEW MINUTES AT A TIME WILL EVENTUALLY GIVE ONE RHEUMATISM.

Submitter comment: THIS BELIEF IS SHARED BY A PROPORTIONATE NUMBER OF LABORERS AT
REPUBLIC STEEL PLANT IN MASSILLON, OHIO WHERE I WAS EMPLOYED DURING
THE SUMMER OF 1973. I FIRST LEARNED OF THIS BELIEF WHEN I WAS
STANDING IN FRONT OF A FAN, AND A CO-WORKER, AGED ABOUT 60, TOLD ME
THAT DOING THAT JUST A LITTLE AT A TIME DOES SOMETHING TO YOUR SYSTEM
AND IN A FEW YEARS WOULD GIVE ME RHEUMATISM. HE KNEW OTHERS IT HAD
HAPPENED TO, AND HE HIMSELF AVOIDED (OR CLAIMED TO AVOID) FANS FOR
LONG PERIODS OF TIME BECAUSE OF THIS. I LATER HEARD SIMILAR COMMENTS
FROM OTHER WORKERS, RANGING IN AGE FROM 40 TO 60. SOME QUALIFIED
THAT IT IS TRUE ONLY IF YOU ARE PERSPIRING IN FRONT OF A FAN, WHILE
OTHERS CLAIMED THAT PERSPIRATION WAS NOT A NECESSARY CONDITION; IN
FACT, AIR-CONDITIONING HAS THE SAME RESULTS, AND MANY PEOPLE GETTING
THEIR HOMES AIR-CONDITIONED TODAY DIDN'T KNOW ABOUT THIS, BUT THEY
WILL BE SORRY AFTER AWHILE. SOME CLAIMED THAT BUSINESSMEN WITH AIR-
CONDITIONED OFFICES HAVE DEVELOPED RHEUMATISM, TOO. ONE MAN TOLD ME
ABOUT THE BELIEF WHILE A FAN WAS ON US BOTH. HE STARTED YELLING
WORDS TO THE EFFECT, "TURN THAT THING OFF! I DON'T WANT IT ON ME!"
AND PROCEEDED TO TELL ME HIS VERSION OF THE BELIEF. BUT WHEN I LATER
OFFERED TO TURN THE FAN IN THE OTHER DIRECTION, HE TOLD ME TO NEVER
MIND--AFTER ALL THESE YEARS, ONCE MORE WOULDN'T HURT OR HELP HIM.

Where learned: OHIO ; MASSILLON

Subject headings: Favorites
BELIEF -- Means of Causing or Avoiding Illness

Date learned: 07-00-1973

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