EXPERIMENT ON EFFECT OF ALCOHOL ON UPTAKE OF CARBON MONOXIDE BY THE BLOOD.
PACIFIC MISSILE RANGE POINT MUGU CALIF
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Work was performed at the Pacific Missile Range to test the hypothesis that alcohol could affect the uptake of carbon monoxide in humans, possibly producing an effect more toxic than either alone. A preliminary experiment was performed to determine the effect of carbon monoxide on four small groups of guinea pigs fed a standard diet plus alcohol and other drugs. The results indicated that small amounts of alcohol over a comparatively long period slow the lethal saturation time of hemoglobin with the carbon monoxide. Alcohol and carbon monoxide appear antagonistic under such conditions. Ammonium chloride appears to cause an increase in the uptake of carbon monoxide. This is evident either as an acceleration of carbon monoxide combining time with hemoglobin or a greater total carbon monoxide hemoglobin level attained. It appears that both factors are operative. Sodium bicarbonate does not appear to contribute any beneficial effect on the uptake of carbon monoxide because alcohol has apparently not increased the carbon monoxide uptake rate under conditions of the experiment i.e., low-level chronic exposure. Author