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July 19, 1941

Acute Response of Guinea Pigs to the Inhalation of Ketone Vapors

JAMA. 1941;117(3):233. doi:10.1001/jama.1941.02820290075033

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This small publication is one of a long series that has continued over several years concerned with the dangers of industrially used volatile solvents. This particular study is concerned with eleven ketones, of which acetone (dimethyl ketone) is the best known representative. To the vapors of these several substances, in varying concentrations, guinea pigs were exposed under well controlled conditions. Injurious actions were regularly encountered in direct proportion to the concentration of the inhaled vapor, in relation to exposure time and, in the case of homologous straight chain methyl ketone, the probability of injury with relation to the number of carbon atoms present. Irritation of the nasal mucosa, which precedes more damaging effects, is regarded as providing some warning properties during the inhalation of these ketones. In this entire series of publications, observations have been made only to acute responses to comparatively high concentrations of the volatile solvents. Commonly the

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