(Received 18 July 1975; accepted 24 July 1975)
Published Online: January
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Presently when one uses the terms “breath analysis,” “breath testing,” or even the unqualified “chemical testing,” people, generally, think of a determination of alcohol in a specimen of breath for medicolegal purposes. (The unmodified term “alcohol” in this article refers to ethanol.) This is because of the notoriety of this application and, perhaps, the strong resentment of many to the police procedures involved. Actually, analysis of breath has been undertaken for a variety of purposes since before the recorded history of man. Thus an almost infinite number of conscious judgments about, or unconscious responses to, components of his inspired breath have been made based on odor, taste, and other sensory effects, many of these crucial for well-being or survival of both man and other animals. A striking example is the functioning of pheromones .
Professor of Medicine and Director of Toxicology Laboratories, University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center, Oklahoma City, Okla.
Professor of Forensic Medicine and Toxicology, University of Texas Southwestern Medical School, Dallas, Tex.
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