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September 30, 1893

THE POISON OF RESPIRATION.

JAMA. 1893;XXI(14):501-502. doi:10.1001/jama.1893.02420660031006

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Abstract

Some recent experiments by Rauer, Untersuchungen uber die Giftigkeit der Expirationsluft, detailed in the Zeitschrift für Hygiene und Infectionskrankheiten, tend to deprive the organic matter of respired air of the importance hitherto attached to it as a morbific agent. Carbonic anhydrid has always been recognized as deleterious when present in large percentages in the air which enters the lungs. It is the deadly "after damp" of the mines, and many opportunities unfortunately have been afforded of determining the postmortem appearances in death from the inhalation of this gas. We are, therefore, not surprised to find that Rauer's mice died in an atmosphere in which the carbonic acid produced by the mice themselves amounted to 15.5 per cent, because for every per cent. so produced an equivalent amount of oxygen was used up, thus reducing the available oxygen to 5.5 per cent. Nor are we surprised that they lasted longer

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