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Article
July 10, 1915

SOME FALLACIES IN THE TREATMENT OF PHENOL (CARBOLIC ACID) POISONING

JAMA. 1915;LXV(2):173-174. doi:10.1001/jama.1915.02580020039020
Abstract

The frequency with which individual chemical substances appear in the rôle of poisons varies from era to era. There was a period when arsenic, for example, occupied a more prominent place among the lists of fatalities by poisoning than it does at the present day. Acute intoxication with phenol (carbolic acid) has of late years assumed large proportions. The substance has become a popularly known household chemical which finds a diversity of applications. It is found at the bedside of the sick, in homes, in public places, in stables and in numerous similarly scattered places which indicate how readily accessible and how recklessly distributed the poison is. The comparatively recent period in which phenol has become thus "vulgarized" is indicated by the fact that it was not discovered until 1834, and its use for antiseptic purposes dates much later. Sometimes the poisoning has been due to medical misuse, though this

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