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February 17, 1940


JAMA. 1940;114(7):587-588. doi:10.1001/jama.1940.02810070053014

An important and valuable addition to our understanding of the nature of chronic benzene poisoning in industrial workers is furnished by a series of five papers1 which recently appeared in the Journal of Industrial Hygiene. They come from the Labor Departments of Massachusetts and New York, and from the Massachusetts General Hospital and the Hospital of the Rockefeller Institute for Medical Research. To any physician who has flattered himself that he has a clear and well founded picture of this form of industrial intoxication, these papers will bring an unpleasant shock, for they cast doubt on many of the ideas that have been held in the past with regard to pathology, diagnosis, clinical course and susceptibility. Indeed, they leave the impression that here is a disease of decided variability, one which requires the most meticulous examination if a diagnosis is to be made in time to save life. Moreover,