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JAMA 100 Years Ago
March 3, 2010


Author Affiliations

JAMA 100 Years Ago Section Editor: Jennifer Reiling, Assistant Editor.

JAMA. 2010;303(9):891. doi:10.1001/jama.2010.141

C. E. LAWS, M.D.

“N. G. head” is a term well known to all who are engaged in the manufacture and use of high explosives. Those who are most frequently and severely affected are men employed in dynamite and gelatin factories, miners and excavators who do blasting.

The nitroglycerin enters the system through the skin, respiratory and alimentary tracts. A man who is working in “powder” may cause another person a great deal of misery by simply shaking hands or by permitting articles which he has been using to be handled by the other. A worker frequently carries some of the drug to his home in his clothing and may make his whole family sick. Sleeping in the same bed or the wearing of contaminated clothing will likewise produce effects. Miners and men in the magazines, especially on hot days, are poisoned by the fumes. It frequently becomes necessary to taste the nitroglycerin, and symptoms quickly manifest themselves.

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