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December 1921


Author Affiliations


From the Medical Laboratories of the Massachusetts General Hospital.

Arch Intern Med (Chic). 1921;28(6):687-702. doi:10.1001/archinte.1921.00100180003001

Tetrachlorethane is a substance that readily poisons man, causing a fatal toxic hepatitis when it enters the body in sufficient amounts. It is used commercially because of its peculiar physical and chemical properties. It is a solvent for cellulose acetate and is both waterproof and noninflammable. Tetrachlorethane has risen to a point of paramount interest in the last few years because of its use in some of the so-called aeroplane "dopes"—the varnish with which the linen wings of aeroplanes are painted.

During the war, numerous cases of poisoning from use of this substance were reported among those engaged in the manufacture of aeroplanes in England, America and Germany. Some deaths occurred from this substance in England and Germany but none have been reported from America. Tetrachlorethane is being utilized in this country in the manufacture of such articles as noninflammable films, various lacquered goods and artificial silk.

The president of

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