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Benzene and Benzin

Frank McDowell, MD
JAMA. 1963;186(6):611. doi:10.1001/jama.1963.03710060097026.
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To the Editor:  —I am reasonably certain that the title of your recent article, "Benzene Exposure and Aplastic Anemia Followed by Leukemia 15 Years Later," (JAMA185:748 [Sept 7] 1963), will cause confusion in the minds of many physicians, nurses, and hospital administrators. Many in these groups confuse benzene (C6H6) with benzine, which is a mixture of a short-chain aliphatic hydrocarbons that is often used in hospitals for removing adhesive tape, and for miscellaneous cleansing jobs.A few years ago when a similar article did not clearly differentiate between these two different substances, some hospitals erroneously removed benzine from their standard supplies and substituted carbon tetrachloride, which is far more toxic than either benzene or benzine. Perhaps attention should be drawn to this again, to avoid repetition of this common and unfortunate error.Benzin or, preferably, petroleum benzin is a more acceptable designation than benzine. Benzene


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