Brass founders' ague, spelter shakes and brass chills have long been known to be caused by the fumes in the founding of brass and the smelting of zinc. The condition is now called metal fume fever and is caused by the inhalation of zinc oxide fumes. The symptoms of metal fume fever come on a few hours after exposure, usually after the workman has reached home. Alice Hamilton's1 description of the clinical picture of the attack is illuminating. "Chilling of the body is often the exciting cause, and the cases are always more numerous in winter, although this is partly due to the better ventilation of the foundry in summer. The actual chill is preceded by a sense of dryness in the throat, with cough, and a sense of lassitude and oppression in the chest, sometimes nausea, rarely vomiting. The Russians have found that a warm bath taken at
BRAY ESD. CHRONIC ZINC INTOXICATIONAN INSTANCE OF CHRONIC ZINC POISONING FROM ZINC CHLORIDE USED IN THE PILLOW MANUFACTURING INDUSTRY. JAMA. 1937;108(5):383–385. doi:10.1001/jama.1937.02780050039011
Customize your JAMA Network experience by selecting one or more topics from the list below.