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July 28, 1962


JAMA. 1962;181(4):333. doi:10.1001/jama.1962.03050300053016

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Numerous household items, such as ammonia, kerosene, lighter fluid, and nail polish remover, are identified with potential damage to the unwary user who inhales these highly volatile substances to excess. On the other hand, hazards may arise, not as by-products of the proper, albeit injudicious, use of certain products but from their deliberate misuse. Plastic cements and airplane glues are currently being used by older children and adolescents to induce euphoria and exhilaration. In this issue of The Journal (p. 300), Glaser and Massengale discuss this increasingly widespread practice. Not infrequently, continual inhalation may lead to intoxication, disorientation, and coma. The detrimental effects on the sensorium by vapors of glue, paint thinners, lacquers, enamels, and, more recently, marking pencils presumably are due to organic solvents incorporated in these products.

Of significance above and beyond the immediate psychologic aberrations produced by glue-sniffing is the possibility that damage to various organ systems

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