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NYC Cracks Down on Glue-Sniffing

Apr. 24, 1963 - New York City’s Health Code will be amended next month in an effort to control the growing, harmful practice of glue-sniffing among children. The Board of Health will act to bar the sale of model airplane glue to children under 18 years unless the glue is contained in a model-plane kit or the children are members of a recognized hobby club, Health Commissioner Dr. George James said today. The glues used in making model airplanes and ships contain solvents that give off fumes that affect the central nervous system when inhaled. They produce an intoxicating effect similar to alcohol. The effects, according to Harry Raybin, director of the department’s Poison Control Center, include excitement, drowsiness, staggering, and headaches. Scientific investigators have not determined the extent of body damage caused by inhaling the glues, but some scientists have found evidence of damage to the liver and other organs. The Board of Education reported today that the growing problem was centered in underprivileged areas, including Harlem, the lower East Side, and the Bedford-Stuyvesant and Williamsburg sections of Brooklyn. Glue-sniffing, a development of the past few years, has been reported across the country.

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