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September 3, 1960


Author Affiliations

Institute of Industrial Health University of Michigan Ann Arbor, Mich.

JAMA. 1960;174(1):93. doi:10.1001/jama.1960.03030010095032

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To the Editor:—  In the Detroit area in recent months, some 40 to 50 cases of poisoning have been associated with methyl ethyl ketone peroxide. All these cases occurred after ingestion in children. This material is furnished as one part of home boatbuilding kits. It is not known precisely that methyl ethyl ketone peroxide in itself is highly toxic. As supplied, this material exists in gluey form, toluol and/or xylol being the solvents. It may be conjectured that kerosene or naphtha likewise may be used as solvents but perhaps more by purchasers themselves than by manufacturers. The emergency danger appears to relate chiefly or solely to the solvent. None of the Detroit cases has been fatal.The chief manifestations, apart from possible conjunctivitis and irritation in the upper mucous membrane area, are gastric pain and other indications of intestinal tract irritation. The chief danger, particularly in the instance of kerosene

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