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May 28, 1927


JAMA. 1927;88(22):1716-1717. doi:10.1001/jama.1927.02680480026016

There are evidences that insensible losses from the body were recognized as early as the days of Hippocrates and Galen. Such losses, often designated as insensible perspiration, are represented by those gaseous emanations from the body which do not appear in the form of sensible moisture or sweat; in other words, the insensible, invisible, intangible but weighable gaseous and vapor productions arising from the lungs in the process of exhalation and from the skin by due process of vaporization. Students of physiology are familiar with the picture of Sanctorius and his ingenious steelyard wherewith as early as 1614 he made measurements of his own loss of weight attributable to what he termed "perspiratio insensibilis." Modern studies of the gaseous emanations from the lungs and skin of man indicate that they consist chiefly of carbon dioxide and water vapor, the amount of marsh gas produced in this species being negligible. Benedict