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November 4, 1939


JAMA. 1939;113(19):1733. doi:10.1001/jama.1939.72800440003010a

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Sodium nitrite and other inorganic nitrites are used mainly in the manufacture of dyestuffs and more recently as anticorrosives in automobile anti-freeze mixtures. Inorganic nitrites are rarely encountered as the cause of human poisoning. It is therefore considered of value to report the following cases:

Three white men, J. N., aged 55, T. H., aged 65, and A. K., aged 70, were inmates of a cheap lodging house near the river front, the location of several wholesale chemical companies, one of which is a large distributor of sodium nitrite. Oct. 27, 1938, at about noon these three men were observed preparing a meal consisting of "beef stew" in the room of J. N. Four hours later the landlady of the house saw A. K. staggering down the stairs; when he reached the bottom he collapsed without making a statement. The landlady stated that the man's face was very pale and

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