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October 7, 1922


JAMA. 1922;79(15):1255-1256. doi:10.1001/jama.1922.02640150067023

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Deaths from Hydrocyanic Poisoning in Fumigation of a Steamer  Two deaths from hydrocyanic poisoning have occurred during the fumigating of the Atlantic liner Mauretania. The shipping companies have asked the ministry of health to appoint experts to inquire into this method of fumigation. Dr. R. J. Reece, senior medical officer of the branch of the ministry which deals with sanitary administration in connection with infectious diseases, and one of his staff have gone to New York to inspect the arrangements there. The use of hydrocyanic acid for fumigation of ships was first adopted in this country last March under the supervision of the port sanitary officer of Liverpool, and was successfully performed without accident in two cases. Previously, sulphur dioxid was used for the destruction of rats and other vermin on ships. It has the disadvantage that it is a heavy gas and lingers for a long time. Moreover, it

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