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December 15, 1917


JAMA. 1917;LXIX(24):2037-2039. doi:10.1001/jama.1917.25910510004013

In the latter part of 1914, Jungfer1 reported a new industrial disease that had appeared during the preceding year in an aeroplane factory in Johannisthal and had affected four out of a force of eight men. These men were employed in painting and spraying a solution of cellulose acetate over the linen that covers the aeroplane. All of them developed a severe acute hepatitis, and one died. Later in another factory in the same place ten men were poisoned and one died. Grimm,2 writing shortly after, was able to give details of fifteen cases of poisoning among aircraft employees engaged in such work. The solutions used were sent to the pharmacologic institute of the University of Berlin for analysis by Heffter and Joachimoglu,3 who reported that the toxic constituent was tetrachlorethane, of which some specimens contained as much as eighty-four in a hundred parts. They experimented on

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