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October 20, 1883


JAMA. 1883;I(15):453-456. doi:10.1001/jama.1883.02390150017002

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Poisoning by Nitro-benzole or Nitro-benzine.  —The old oleum Amygdalæ Amaræ, or oil of bitter almonds, which was recognized as being as poisonous as prussic acid, has been replaced in commerce to a certain extent by a cheap and easy method for manufacturing essence of bitter almonds for flavoring purposes—and which is now called nitro-benzole or nitro-benzine, or by the French Essence de Mirbane. It still preserves its poisonous qualities, but its new name is calculated to remove suspicion on the part of the ignorant; consequently as its use increases in flavoring pastries, etc., cases of poisoning are becoming more common. Ziemmsens Handbook gives forty-two cases collected by Boehm, fourteen of which resulted in death. Drs. Van der Mursch and De Visscher report, in the Annales de la Soc. de Gand for August, the details of an autopsy made upon a child two years of age, which died in five hours

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