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January 26, 1918


Author Affiliations

Assistant Surgeon, United States Public Health Service PHILADELPHIA

JAMA. 1918;70(4):231-232. doi:10.1001/jama.1918.26010040009008d

During the last few years, trinitrotoluene (T. N. T.) has taken its place among the important industrial poisons.

According to Panton,1 the types of sickness that may occur from the absorption of trinitrotoluene are: (1) severe gastric disturbance, without jaundice or anemia; (2) anemia of the aplastic type, and (3) toxic jaundice. The jaundice patients may acquire the aplastic anemia also.

The symptoms complained of by workers in trinitrotoluene have been carefully investigated by Livingstone-Learmonth and Cunningham.2

From analogy, it was thought changes in the blood might occur after continued absorption of trinitrotoluene, as is the case with certain other benzene compounds, notably benzene (benzol, C6H6) and dinitrobenzene (D. N. B.).

Selling3 and others have shown that a condition of aplastic anemia may result from benzene poisoning. The power of benzene to reduce the number of leukocytes has been made use of in leukemia.