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April 23, 1949


JAMA. 1949;139(17):1224. doi:10.1001/jama.1949.02900340100023

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To the Editor:—  I am sorry if in my letter in The Journal, Dec. 25, 1948, page 1253, undue stress was placed on the possible toxicity of hexachlorocyclohexane when used in the treatment of scabies. My chief concern was and is over the widespread use of this material in the South as an insecticide dust for cotton.In my original letter cases of convulsive death in animals were reported. Also reported was 1 case of human convulsive death following exposure to the insecticide dust. This dust contained hexachlorocyclohexane as its most powerful ingredient but also contained DDT and sulfur.Although convulsive death was noted in but 1 human case, other symptoms were frequently reported by persons directly exposed to these chemicals. These symptoms included a dry cough, burning sensation on the skin and in the eyes, pronounced loss of weight, vomiting and a bloated feeling in the abdomen. In addition,

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