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To the Editor:—
The article "Pursuing the Killers," in Medicine at Work, The Journal, Jan. 12, page 114, is excellent but poses an important question. On page 117, New York City Poison Control Director Harry Rabin is quoted as saying that carbon tetrachloride is "so vicious that it should be banned from every home." I would like to ask what he would suggest as a substitute for this noninflammable cleaning agent? From 1929 through 1937 I was one of the autopsy surgeons to the coroner, Los Angeles County, California. During that period 1 performed a few autopsies on persons who died of carbon tetrachloride poisoning but performed a great many more autopsies upon persons burned while they were cleaning clothes in gasoline. Before carbon tetrachloride is banned from the home, an equally noninflammable and equally cheap substitute should be furnished.
Schaefer JH. CARBON TETRACHLORIDE. JAMA. 1957;163(13):1179. doi:10.1001/jama.1957.02970480083025