IN THE last few years several investigators have employed the so-called wetting agents in various fields pertaining to medicine. Among the many uses, the following may be mentioned: (1) as agents to increase fat absorption in patients with pancreatic fibrosis, (2) as mucigogic agents in the treatment of peptic ulcers, (3) as ingredients of dentrifices, (4) as solvents for penicillin aerosols, (5) as agents used to wet down dusts in mines, (6) as substances used in combination with sulfonamides to increase penetration of the drugs through the cornea and (7) as agents to increase the moisture in croup tents in treatment of children with laryngotracheobronchitis and similar diseases.
Previous experimental work concerning the toxicity of these agents was limited to observation of the effects following oral, intravenous and intraperitoneal administration. Gershenfeld and Witlin1 investigated thoroughly the toxicity in rabbits of a large number of wetting agents. They observed no