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Sniffing up Trouble: Adhesive Tape Remover Pads

Thomas M. Zipp, MD
JAMA. 1986;256(1):39-40. doi:10.1001/jama.1986.03380010043019.
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To the Editor.—  I would like to bring to the attention of the medical community and hospitals the abuse potential of adhesive tape remover. Adhesive tape remover is often supplied to hospitals in the form of individually foilwrapped impregnated pads. Among their many ingredients are either perchloroethylene or 1,1,1-trichloroethane. These are the same active ingredients found in typewriter correction fluid,1 which has been reported to have a high abuse potential among solvent sniffers. It is associated with coma, cardiac arrhythmias, and death.2This problem was recently brought to my attention by a 36-year-old woman who began hemodialysis in January 1986. Shortly thereafter she made frequent and demanding requests for adhesive tape remover in order to clear her skin of the adhesive tape that is used to hold fistula needles in place. A family member reported to me that she was inserting rolled adhesive tape remover pads in her


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