Ether contains 96 per cent by weight of absolute ether and 4 per cent. of alcohol and water.

It is slightly irritant to the skin and mucous membranes. It becomes volatile when exposed to the air at ordinary temperatures, and is therefore administered by inhalation. It dulls and stupefies the brain, producing anesthesia. It primarily stimulates the heart and raises the blood pres sure. In toxic doses it causes cardiac failure and death by respiratory paralysis.

It is excreted in the breath.