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September 17, 1904


JAMA. 1904;XLIII(12):816. doi:10.1001/jama.1904.02500120052007

The harmlessness of boric acid is assumed by all, so that it has come to be one of the most popular agents in the hands of both profession and laity, not to mention the preparers of foodstuffs. As a lecturer on materia medica used to say to his classes, "Boric acid is valuable for the harm it has not done." Yet, as shown by an article on another page,1 boric acid has, under exceptional conditions, been a cause of death in several instances. If we put together the facts brought out by Best and the results obtained by Wiley in his series of experiments on the effects of boric acid in food, we have basis for a fair conclusion as to the exact limits of safety of boric acid.

Wiley found that boric acid in quantities of four or five grams per day continued for some time results in

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