AN INVOLUNTARY PROVING OF ALUMINA


The summer following the paper-it was read by title in Detroit-I returned from a months vacation. As soon as I got there, the Superintendent of the hospital called me in. He said, “We had a call here from Mellon Brothers.” The caller asked if he had a physician on the staff interested in aluminum.


This proving, for want of a better term, is not scientific in that it was not conducted according to rules. It was a forty year conquest with an unknown foe: alumina poisoning from kitchen aluminium utensils. Three successful hurdles were in this conquest, viz., pulmonary tuberculosis, left-sided hemiplegia and a paretic-like syndrome. All the obstacles were met by the single, similar, infinite remedy.

The forty years insidious march of destruction by alumina was finally met by a Cadmium combination. Some physicians are successful with Barium combinations.

In presenting symptoms developed over a period of forty years, those most outstanding with reasonable degree of permanency are recorded. New symptom manifestations other than expressed in the materia medicas are disclaimed. Ultimate as well as common symptoms are mentioned as suggestive in the outward drift of the disturbed autonomic system.

The vital symptoms, intrinsic signs of a disordered vital force, will be our chief concern.

MIND: Sadness. Depression, worse on waking mornings. Melancholy. Dullness. Lack of concentration. Irritability. Anxiety. Fear. Aversion to company. Lack of memory. Timidity, will avoid meeting people. Inquietude, at times a feeling of everything being unreal.

VERTIGO: Dizziness, aggravated violent exertion.

HEAD: Pain is gastric; with nausea; right side with vomiting. In morning awakening with headache, increases and gone by 3 p.m. Sensation tired sleepy, bruised sore, right side extending to liver region.

Heat of head with pain, ? by slow motion and cold application and cold air. Pain in occiput extending to forehead with chilliness, with coldness of hands and feet; with paleness of face and forehead.

EYES: Pain, burning and smarting. Itching, inner canthi. Lachrymation in wind. Photophobia. Pupils unequally dilated.

EARS: Burning and itching.

HEARING: Impaired, sounds seem muffled.

NOSE: Cracks, tip of root of nose; expansive in character. Sneezing followed by > of pain at root of nose. Ulcer inside, very sensitive. Furuncles inner and outer side.

FACE: Pale with headache. Itching, sensation of hair. Hair falls out of eyebrows. Furuncles on the chin.

MOUTH: Bleeding gums. Dryness. Sensation of tingling desire to scratch it. Ulcers. Tongue enlarged.

THROAT: Dryness on waking and when talking. Constant presence of mucus that necessitates clearing the throat, especially so on rising mornings. Sensation roughness of throat.

STOMACH: Nausea during headache > lying down. Vomitus yellow or green. Sensation of fullness and tension. Empty eructations when changing position.

ABDOMEN: Borborygmi. Fullness and tension which is alleviated by having extremities elevated. Liver enlarged, sore and tender.

RECTUM: Constipation, obliged to strain when stool is soft, or is hard. Itching and burning after and during stool. Cutting pain during stool. Frequent ineffectual urging for stool after going two or three days without a stool. Stools, like balls; may be large, hard, dry and dark; frequent, scanty and covered by mucus.

CHEST: Shallow respirations.

BLADDER: Urination retarded, must wait a long time; then a slow feeble stream. Frequent urging to urinate.

GENITALIA: Impotency. Sexual passion diminished.

LARYNX AND TRACHEA: Irritation with sensation of dryness. Feeling of soreness and roughness; obliged to clear throat frequently. Scanty mucous discharge in throat with difficulty to impossible to speak. Voice at times has sudden weakness, almost impossible to speak. Again hoarseness. There were times when there was aggravating hacking cough either from mucus or tickling in air passages.

HEART: Palpitation while thinking about what to say in public. The longer the suspense in speaking the more violent the pulsations.

BACK: Aching, drawing, tiredness between shoulders and lumbar region while sitting. So severe at times obliged to change position which temporarily relieved.

EXTREMITIES: Dryness of joints. Coldness of hands, feet. Bluish hands and feet. Varicosity of legs. Trembling and weak, at times numbness. Heaviness and awkwardness, weakness of lower limbs. (Incoordination). Coldness of feet and hands during headache. Blueness of hands and feet. Cracking in joints. Jerking of arms and legs falling asleep. Trembling. Furuncles identical, one on each forefinger at the same time. In healing left rough cicatrix. Cracks between the toes with excoriation and discharge light colored sticky fluid.

SLEEP: Sleepiness in evening followed by sleeplessness before midnight.

SKIN: Dry inability to perspire. Fine bran-like scales, roughening of arms and legs, followed by itching, scratching, smarting; itching when becoming warm as by exercise or in a warm room.

GENERALITIES: All symptoms worse while sitting but better when first walking slowly. Desire for open air and feels much better. Sensitive to cold and heat. Cannot resist the cold. Lack vital heat. Emaciation, anemia. When standing fainting and weakness. Amelioration from warm drinks and food. Jerking on going to sleep and during sleep. Lassitude. Weariness, must lie down. In spite of this lassitude can arouse energy to great physical endurance. Trembling with weakness. Relieved lying on abdomen of many symptoms. Slow pulse. Body hairless with exception of the areas of eyebrows, hair and pubis. ATHENS, O.

DISCUSSION.

DR. HEIMBACH: I have been very much interested in the aluminum questions; up my way they call me “nuts” on aluminum kitchen ware. Now, I realize that some patients dont get aluminum poisoning. You have to be allergic to it and if you handle the aluminum question as an allergic proposition, you are nearer correct. To illustrate how little sometimes it takes for a person who is allergic to it-it is almost unbelievable:.

I had a patient come to me from a neighboring town, a baker by trade, who had his own bakery. All the family had more or less aluminum poisoning, and they all cleared up very fast except him, and he just wont clear up from a dizziness. By the way, that is on of the strongest symptoms, dizziness and debility, and I said, “Are you getting in contact with any aluminum at all?”. “Not that I know of”.

“Well,” I said, “in what respect do you eat differently from the rest of the family?” because they all cleared up promptly.

He studied for a little while and it was only in one thing.

“I eat my own bread and the rest of the family dont”.

“Well,” I said, “what in the world do you use in your bakery that would contact you with aluminum? What do you use?”.

He mentioned yeast and milk powder, and there was a third; I cant recall what it was.

I said, “Will you please send me s sample of all three of them when you get home?”.

He said, “I surely will”.

He sent the three samples and where do you think I found it? It was in the milk powder. Evidently the milk had been evaporated in aluminum pans. We cut that out and he got over his dizziness very quickly.

I could refer to another case, a young married man his thirties, who had symptoms of debility and gas-by the way, that is a very prominent symptom, gas-and I couldnt find anything in the nature of pathology or disease of any kind, but aluminum poisoning.

My favorite prescription for it is Chininum arsenicosum, 6x., and dilute hydrochloric acid after meals in a glass of water, about 10 drops, because I think it is chemical antidote to aluminum, and it certainly doesnt interfere with the homoeopathic remedy, because we are supposed to have hydrochloric acid in our stomachs in any case.

In a week he came back and he was feeling pretty good. I gave him another prescription and that ended it for a year. He comes back and his wife is with him, and he gave me very much the same symptoms, and I checked up on them and I said, “You have aluminum poisoning again. Why didnt you leave aluminum alone?”.

He said, “We havent used any aluminum since you told me”.

I turned to his wife and said, “How about it?”.

“To my knowledge we have not any aluminum”.

“Are you sure about the coffee pot?”.

That is one of the worst ones, the coffee pot.

“Well,” I said, “we will just have to find out where you get the aluminum, for you have it, and you have it plenty. The only thing we can do now is for both of you to open your eyes and keep your ears to the ground till you come back and see whether we can locate it”:.

They came back in a week, and they both smiled.

“Well, have you found out where you got it?”.

“Oh, yes”.

“Well, where was it?”.

It was in some canned fruit she had put up. She had put up a lot of fruit before she had discarded the aluminum kitchen ware, and when the winter came around, they started to eat the fruit again, and he got the aluminum poisoning back in a hurry.

I almost was threatened with a suit by the aluminum company. A young squib came in to me, to my office, and said, “I understand all your cases have aluminum poisoning”.

I said. “Is that so? Not to my knowledge, because I dont examine them all for aluminum poisoning, but if I cant find anything else the matter with them and I check on aluminum poisoning, and they have it, I just tell them to quit aluminum ware”.

“Well, we sued a doctor in Toledo, Ohio”.

I said, “Is that a threat to me?”.

He didnt know.

“Now,” I said, “I want to ask you, since you are an aluminum salesman, how can you account for what takes place if you just put water in an aluminum kettle and let it stand overnight”.

“Well,” he said, “it leaves a mark”.

I said, “What happens if you put some tomatoes in there and cook them?”. “Well, it clears up the kettle”.

“Yes, you are right, but who gets the dirt?”.

I said, “Furthermore, you often hear or see in the paper in the summertime where there was a picnic and a lot of ptomaine poisoning. That is not ptomaine poisoning; that is aluminum poisoning. They go in the market and buy the best that can be had and cook it in an aluminum kettle, and in four or five hours there is trouble”.

They didnt sue me.

In one case I sent a pathological specimen to a chemist in Scranton to test particularly whether there was aluminum detectable in an analysis, and he found it.

DR. ALMFELT: I am another “nut” on aluminum poisoning.

Last fall a man came to me suffering from sclerosis of the spine, to a degree where he couldnt even walk. He was absolutely and invalid. He himself was quite a scientific man, a student of all these things. Like Dr. Carr, he outlined a splendid history of himself in his own case, and he claimed that his condition was caused entirely by aluminum poisoning.

Now, I dont know whether that was entirely true or not. I cant verify that because I wasnt able to help the man very much, all at once, so he didnt stay long with me. Nevertheless, I see it almost every day in my practice, because I have only chronic diseases. Some years ago, in England they tested out this aluminum poisoning under control in a childrens hospital in Liverpool. It might be interesting to you to learn that they discovered that when they fed children on food cooked in aluminum pots, they developed all kinds of diseases, asthma, bronchitis, diarrhoea, constipation, or anything at all; and if you boil milk in an aluminum pot, you would get as much as 140 grains of aluminum into one gallon of milk, and when you drink this two or three times a day, (or coffee from an aluminum pot) you are bound to get obscure symptoms of aluminum poisoning.

It is important that doctors pay more attention to this aluminum business, because it is worse than we realize. It is a human health, and we, as doctors, should give more attention to it than we do.

Over at Cornell University when these wares came out, they were tested and found poisonous, but this squelched pretty quick, because the great aluminum corporation of America wouldnt have that.

DR. FARRINGTON: It isnt often that a physician gets up and gives an involuntary proving as Dr. Carr has done. The whole medical profession fails to appreciate the toxicity of drugs, and you know that especially in the “old school,” they will give a drug until it begins to produce toxic effects. In the old days they didnt even stop then, especially with mercury and quinine.

DR. Almfelt is right. We homoeopaths sit around and smoke and use aluminum kettles to cook our food in, and stay in the garage too long, and get petromortis, and those of the female persuasion may use a lipstick and some facial cosmetics that are poisonous, and it is really marvelous how we get by. It is marvelous what the human body can stand.

DR. ALMFELT: That is right.

DR. FARRINGTON: I havent mentioned one-hundredth of all the influences of a toxic nature that we are up against. It is only those who use this modern term of “allergic” that take notice.

DR. CARR: There is much to say on it. Seven years it is since I put out the paper Constitutional Effects of Aluminum, which went pretty exhaustively as to the source. Other doctors have seen poisoning of aluminum. It has been proved in the laboratory under Hill and Peterson, of Yale University, and disclosed on animal research or experimentation that the younger animals were not affected by the aluminum, but as age crept on, they were highly susceptible.

The only plausible explanation is the elimination. The older we grow, the less likely we are to eliminate thoroughly from the body.

It is a peculiar thing. Dr. R.M.V. Hunt-Cooper, Captain of the Royal Army Medical Corps, an “old school” man, wrote a pamphlet, Danger of Food Contamination by Aluminum, and pointed out a peculiar thing that in Germany, England, and France, aluminum sodium phosphate is prohibited in baking powder. Well, anything touching aluminum ware (which is highly commercial) is suppressed in this country.

When a paper came out in 1937, Mellon Brother, I believe, were the sole owners, controlled about 98 per cent of all aluminum products in the United States. I think that combine has been broken up.

The summer following the paper-it was read by title in Detroit-I returned from a months vacation. As soon as I got there, the Superintendent of the hospital called me in. He said, “We had a call here from Mellon Brothers.” The caller asked if he had a physician on the staff interested in aluminum.

He said, “Yes, he has had some experience”.

So they began to tackle the hospital, wanted to know how much aluminum there was in the hospital.

He said, “Yes, he has had some experience”.

So they began to tackle the hospital, wanted to know how much aluminum there was in the hospital.

He said, “To my knowledge, very little aluminum in the hospital; in fact, I wouldnt purchase any at all”.

He excused himself as rapidly as the could, but he left a four- hundred-page pamphlet with abstracts taken out of medical society and scientific society laboratories not only in this country but also in Europe and Spain. I didnt count the abstracts in there, because that was beyond me, but it was all pro-aluminum; so you see what the Mellon Brother have been up against. They have been fighting this teeth and toenail.

I went through that and I found one paragraph or abstract that damaged the whole program of that pamphlet, and I put that in that paper, Constitutional Effects of Aluminum. That was from a laboratory in Spain where all down the line even mineral water and backing soda, and acids, and alkalies, even exposure to moist air deteriorates aluminum.

I havent heard from Mellon much since then, but I might say that the Association can be proud of having their name on the stationery that has gone to Canada and even as far as Australia.

DR. Betts is a dentist, is connected with the National Health Association. He is in Toledo, Ohio, and he is probably the most vigorous fighter for the effects of aluminum. He procured several copies from me and he said he is using it very extensively. Also a chemist or scientist in Canada placed the paper before the British Commission of Health, and in this country a scientist in Pennsylvania did the same thing for the Government. This scientist in Canada was prohibited from entering the United States because of his opposition to aluminum.

Dr. FARRINGTON: I should like to ask the doctor a question. Did you notice any editorials in newspapers or any so-called health columns taking up this matter? It seems to me about the time that you read that paper, or shortly after, I should say, the Chicago Tribune had the health column entirely devoted to the lack of toxicity of aluminum when used as cooking utensils.

DR. GRIMMER: Some of these writers went so far as to state that aluminum was helpful because it occurred in plants, not taking into consideration the difference between the organic and inorganic salts of aluminum.

DR. FARRINGTON: Prussic acid occurs in plants.

V. T. Carr