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February 13, 1904


JAMA. 1904;XLII(7):471. doi:10.1001/jama.1904.02490520061012

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The dangers of wood alcohol have been pointed out for several years, but the public seems to have but little knowledge of them. Four negroes died in Chicago a few days ago from drinking wood alcohol which was sold to them under the general name of alcohol. We know of no such wholesale instance of methyl alcohol poisoning before, but it furnishes a striking example of the perils that exist in its substitution in various agencies which are made up for dietetic and other purposes. These colored men were topers in the last degree, drinking their material pure, each probably taking a considerable quantity, though the amount is not stated in the accounts. The material was furnished by a druggist, who, it seems, ought to be liable under both the state and Federal laws for thus retailing alcohol for drinking purposes. If alcohol is allowed to be sold to anyone

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