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August 10, 1929


JAMA. 1929;93(6):460-461. doi:10.1001/jama.1929.02710060036012

The hazards of poisonous gases are not confined to war. Numerous fatalities occur from carbon monoxide in illuminating gas and in automobile exhaust gas. Such occurrences as the Cleveland Clinic disaster, in which the gas was chiefly the oxides of nitrogen, and more recently the fatalities from methyl chloride escaping from automatic refrigerators are not to be lightly dismissed. Various agencies of the government, such as the United States Bureau of Mines and the United States Public Health Service, and the Committee on Investigation of Toxic Gases of the American Medical Association have a serious problem before them.

In 1927 Drs. Henderson and Haggard of Yale University issued a monograph on poisonous gases and the treatment of such poisoning.1 Under the group of "more toxic anesthetics," methyl chloride is described thus (page 159):

The monohalogen compounds of methyl, CH3Br, CH3I and CH3Cl, are

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