Poisoning by methyl chloride has been so infrequent that textbooks on toxicology and legal medicine either mention it briefly or fail to record the toxic properties of the gas. Recent developments in mechanical methods of refrigeration, however, have brought about the widespread employment of a number of more or less toxic gases and call for more complete investigation of the possible risks involved in their use.
Eulenberg,1 in 1876, working with pigeons, reported the toxic action of methyl chloride. Exposure to the gas produced difficulty in breathing and dilatation of the pupils, and caused the birds to stagger and fall. Removal from exposure was followed by prompt recovery.
The narcotic action of methyl chloride was investigated in 1879 by a committee on anesthetics of the British Medical Association.2 This committee used an alcoholic solution of the gas and reported only a mild narcotic effect.
Kionka,3 in 1900,