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November 20, 1937


Author Affiliations

Columbia, Mo.

From the Department of Physiology and Pharmacology, University of Missouri Medical School.

JAMA. 1937;109(21):1718-1719. doi:10.1001/jama.1937.92780470001011

Certain symptoms in man following exposure to selenium have been reported, such as pallor, coated tongue, gastro-intestinal disorders, nervousness and garlicky odor of the breath,1 but no mention has been found of acute sore throat. Hofmeister2 found that selenium was eliminated from the body by the lungs, urine and feces in the form of a methyl compound (methyl selenide) which is volatile and gives rise to a disagreeable odor resembling garlic. Acute sore throats have been repeatedly observed in this laboratory following exposure to selenium, especially in the form eliminated from experimental animals through the lungs.

One of us (H. L. M.) had three very definite attacks of sore throat following exposure, another (M. M. E.) had two attacks and the other (M. D. E.) had two attacks. In the case of the latter the attacks were milder than in the first two. The laboratory technician had two

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