Poisoning by spent calcium carbide

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Peer-Reviewed Research
  • SDG 12
  • Abstract:

    (1) Poisoning by completely spent carbide is very similar to poisoning by calcium hydroxide. (2) So-called spent carbide may contain active carbide which, when ingested (moistened), will yield acetylene. Furthermore, other impurities such as ammonia, sulphuretted hydrogen, phosphine and cyanamide may also be present. (3) In our experiments no evidence was obtained that any impurities of any toxicological importance were present in the spent carbide with which the experiments were conducted. (4) Since a relatively large quantity of calcium hydroxide is necessary to poison an animal it is obvious that the calcium content of the stomach contents will be greatly increased in cases of poisoning by this substance. Consequently the determination of the calcium content o£ the stomach contents may be of great assistance in determining whether an animal was poisoned by spent carbide.