Do not eat C4 plastic explosive!
So, naturally, whie I'm sitting here in a jungle, I'm doing my research on the tropical diseases of the Vietnam war. Happily the Army put a lot of articles on this subject up on the internet.
I was reading all about leptospirosis and dengue fevere and malaria, when I came upon a section where on the bottom, it talks about medical complications from eating C4.
It was common knowledge among the field troops in Vietnam that the ingestion of a small quantity of C-4 produces a "high" similar to that produced by alcohol. The exact frequency of ingestion of the material was not known; however, several serious intoxications from this agent were seen in every major military hospital in the Republic of Vietnam. Toxic effects of C-4 have also involved the civilian community in the United States. Inhalation of the dust was incriminated when factory workers who handled and packed the explosive experienced convulsions (Merrill 1968).
All patients were admitted to the hospital for the management of generalized seizures. When initially seen, most were conscious but stared into space confusedly. They were restless and unpredictable and required restraints. At frequent intervals, generalized seizures lasting 1 to 2 minutes occurred. Between seizures, the state of consciousness varied from coma to lethargy. Other prominent symptoms and signs were severe neuromuscular irritability with muscular twitching and hyperactive reflexes, myalgias, frontal headaches, nausea, vomiting, gross hematuria, and fever. Within 48 hours, the patients were able to answer simple questions and follow directions, but orientation, concentration, recall, and memory for recent and remote events were impaired. After 1 week, the sensorium cleared; however, remote memory continued to be defective with spotty recall for both personal experiences and well-known facts. Followup indicated that mental capacity had returned to normal in about 1 to 2 months. Neuromuscular irritability, gastrointestinal symptoms, hematuria, and fever abated within 48 hours. Headaches persisted for 1 to 3 weeks.
The abnormal laboratory findings are summarized in table 105. Within 2 weeks, all the abnormal values returned to normal except for the hematocrit in one patient and urinary protein excretion in another.
So, your health tip of the day is don't eat C4.