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March 1957

Dictionary of Poisons.

Author Affiliations

By Ibert and Eleanor Mellan. Price, $4.75. Pp. 150, with no illustrations. Philosophical Library, Inc., 15 E. 40th St., New York 16, 1956.

AMA Arch Intern Med. 1957;99(3):494. doi:10.1001/archinte.1957.00260030176022

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In picking up a book entitled "Dictionary of Poisons" one gets a macabre feeling that he is now venturing forth into the land of the Borgias and has the uneasy sense of being an accessory before some crime done with subtle and sinister poisons. This feeling is quickly dispelled however, for after an interesting introduction, we get very sound advice about what we might do to prevent accidental poisoning, to make the home safer, the home in which some 34,000 Americans destroy themselves every year. In this destruction, poison rates as the third most common cause, and small children are the usual victims. While homicide, suicide, and accidents take the primary role, a sort of iatrogenic connivance compounded of illegible prescriptions and heroic self-overdosage by the patient may get us all in a bad fix. To this may be added the real hazard of samples coming unasked to the physician's

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