Only one investigation has recently been made, using a single ivy-sensitive subject, in an attempt to disprove the popular belief that smoke from the burning poison ivy plant contains the dermatitis-producing factor.1 The purpose of this communication is to report the results of 2 different experiments which conclusively demonstrated that the smoke of the Rhus group of poisonous plants is not per se a cause of clinical ivy dermatitis.
The dermatitis-producing fraction of poison ivy is readily soluble in acetone and ether.2 With the assistance of Dr. Vern Rhoer, of the department of biochemistry of the Southwestern Medical College, a simple method was devised for passing smoke through acetone by means of suction. If the allergenic fraction is present in the smoke, it will be removed by the solvent acetone. Contact tests on ivy-sensitive subjects with a few drops of the acetone-smoke extract,
HOWELL JB. POISON IVY SMOKE: EXPERIMENTS DEMONSTRATING THAT POISON IVY SMOKE IS NOT A CAUSE OF CLINICAL IVY DERMATITIS. Arch Derm Syphilol. 1944;50(5):306–307. doi:10.1001/archderm.1944.01510170020004
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