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January 20, 1923


Author Affiliations

New York. Associate in Physiology, Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons.

JAMA. 1923;80(3):202. doi:10.1001/jama.1923.02640300052031

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To the Editor:  —In a communication in The Journal, Nov. 25, 1922, p. 1868, Dr. Lynch of Dallas advocates the use of coal gas and a flame for the detection of leaks in the Benedict form of basal metabolism apparatus. We regard such a procedure as dangerous, involving, as it does, the possibility of an explosive mixture of gas and air being formed in the tubes and chamber of the apparatus. The use of coal gas is open to objection on other grounds, namely, that certain constituents of the gas are soluble in rubber, and rubber tubing so contaminated may continue to give off unpleasant odors for some time even after a thorough ventilation of the apparatus. Such odors may impair the accuracy of a basal metabolism determination by nauseating the patient under examination.The method of painting soap-suds over the sites of suspected leaks while applying pressure to the

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