The lungs of eight drug addicts dying as a consequence of their habit have been examined. All showed the presence of small amounts of talc emboli and five the presence of starch emboli. Talc was invariably associated with a marked foreign body reaction which was insignificant in association with starch. Animal experiments showed very rapid (90% in 24 hours) removal of maize starch emboli; such rapid removal in man would explain the lack of a foreign body response. Quantitation of the amount of starch present in lungs from two of the cases gave values of 1·5 and 5·2 g. The higher amount could have been a contributory factor in the sudden death of the addict. The amounts of talc seen were not sufficient to be of clinical significance.
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