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April 1967

Gasoline Sniffing Complicated by Acute Carbon Tetrachloride Poisoning

Author Affiliations

USA; USA, Washington, DC

From the Walter Reed Army Institute of Research, Walter Reed Army Medical Center, Washington, DC.

Arch Intern Med. 1967;119(4):371-374. doi:10.1001/archinte.1967.00290220121008

THE PURPOSEFUL inhalation of gasoline vapors was first described in 1951 by Clinger and Johnson.1 They described two adolescent boys who were habituated to this practice. The first boy was a 16-year-old who had sniffed gasoline fumes for four- to eighthour periods for ten years, during which time he experienced auditory and visual hallucinations as well as erotic sexual fantasies. In time sexual gratification became the specific objective of his inhalations. He then developed personality changes and an obsessive compulsion to sniff gasoline. So intense was his compulsion that his father chained him to prevent him from sniffing. The second boy was a 13-year-old who found gasoline sniffing produced euphoria and grandiose ideas of physical strength and power. Both of these boys were noted to have impaired intelligence quotients. They were subsequently able to give up the habit after prolonged psychiatric treatment.

We have encountered a young Marine enlisted

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