[Skip to Navigation]
April 20, 1889


JAMA. 1889;XII(16):556-558. doi:10.1001/jama.1889.02400930016002

Poison in the Breath.  —MM. Brown-Séquard and d'Arsonval have reported to the Academy of Science the results of new experiments that show the poison or poisons which escape with the breath can become fatal in small quantities, even if not injected directly into the venous or arterial blood. Injected subcutaneously the fluid containing this poison proved fatal to 17 out of 18 rabbits in doses of 16-44 cc.; in two-thirds death ensued in from 12 to 24 hours after the injection. But even when injected into the rectum and the stomach the liquid may cause death, but this occurred only in 2 out of 7 which had from 24-36 cc. introduced into the stomach. According to these eminent physiologists this toxic power is not ascribable to the presence of microbes in the fluid, for it is equally poisonous after it has been subjected to a temperature of 100°. They consider