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June 26, 1915

Kaolin, Clay Eaters and Clay-Containing Streams

Author Affiliations

Pleasantville, N. Y.

JAMA. 1915;LXIV(26):2157. doi:10.1001/jama.1915.02570520051023

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To the Editor:  —Noting in The Journal of June 12 editorial and other reference to the subject of the adsorption, perhaps by virtue of colloidal states of solution, by kaolin, I write to suggest that, in light of the work on its effect on the intestinal bacteria, investigations of the peculiar physiologic or pathologic state of the "clay eaters," numerous in some localities (North Carolina mountains) would be interesting. Especially would this be interesting in connection with the thought and the slight amount of experimental evidence of the possibility of life without the ingestion or the presence in the intestinal canal of micro-organisms.Entirely aside from all but its physicochemical bearing is the curious condition of the river waters in many of the Southern streams. Even when practically motionless, they seem to hold in suspension indefinitely the whole or a considerable part of the finely divided clay particles of the

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