Online Encyclopedia

GROUP X

Online Encyclopedia
Originally appearing in Volume V21, Page 350 of the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica.
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GROUP X. Carbonic Acid.—Carbonic acid gas, carbonic oxide (CO) and some other irrespirable gases produce their effects practically by asphyxiation. When dissolved in water, however, carbonic acid gas is a gentle stimulant to the mouth, stomach and bowel, the mixture being absorbed more rapidly than plain water; hence its greater value in assuaging thirst. Nitrous oxide (laughing gas) was at one time believed to act simply by cutting off the supply of oxygen to the tissues, but it also has a specific effect in producing paralysis of certain parts of the central nervous system, and hence Its value as an anaesthetic; when given in small amounts mixed with air it produces a condition of exhilaration.
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