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January 7, 1939


JAMA. 1939;112(1):51-52. doi:10.1001/jama.1939.02800010053015

The making of artificial silk, rayon, by the viscose process is an important industry in all industrial countries. In the United States this industry, which has grown rapidly during the last thirty years, employs now more than 50,000 persons in some twenty factories in thirteen states. This industry utilizes one poison, carbon disulfide (CS2); another, hydrogen sulfide (H2S), is evolved during certain processes. The presence of these hazards brings viscose manufacture into the class of the dangerous trades in most countries, notably Germany, France, Italy, England, the Netherlands and Japan. Especially in the first three of these countries, much attention has been drawn to the action of carbon disulfide. This poison, according to Koester,1 produces as varied a clinical picture as does lead.

In the United States a period of thirty-three years elapsed between the publication of an article on this subject by Jump and Cruice