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February 7, 1931


JAMA. 1931;96(6):452-453. doi:10.1001/jama.1931.02720320052018

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Use of Mice in Buildings as Cancer Indicators  In the Deutsche medizinische Wochenschrift, a peculiar suggestion is made by Professor Teutschlaender of Heidelberg for the identification of "cancer houses"; that is to say, buildings residence in which is regarded (whether rightly or wrongly) as likely to produce cancer. A gray mouse was brought to him that was caught in a building used for the manufacture of coal dust briquettes, and which was found to have tumors that, on examination, proved to be so-called pitch cancer. That the tumors had been caused by pitch dust was revealed by the fact that this irritant was found in the fur and also in the tumors. As the mouse acquired its tumors through having taken up its permanent abode in the briquette factory, the term "cancer house" is applicable; furthermore, the danger arose through the deposits of pitch dust found everywhere, just as cancerous

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