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GASOLINE INTOXICATION

WILLARD MACHLE, M.D.
JAMA. 1941;117(23):1965-1971. doi:10.1001/jama.1941.02820490039013.
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Although poisoning by petroleum distillates has been a recognized clinical condition ever since these products began to find commercial use, few cases have been reported, probably because they are of sporadic occurrence and in cases of mild acute poisoning recovery is usually prompt and complete. Opportunities for harmful exposure are frequent however, and, as gasoline has become a material essential in daily life and its distribution is constantly increasing, intoxication by gasoline will doubtless become more, rather than less, frequent.

The monthly consumption of gasoline in the United States increased from about 1,000,000,000 gallons in 1927 to more than 2,000,000,000 gallons in 1940,1 and this was due almost entirely to its increased use as a motor fuel. As a result, the persons having a possible exposure to gasoline include greater numbers of motorists and also greater numbers of men employed in its production, distribution and marketing. The number of

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