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July 1954


Author Affiliations

From the Department of Pediatrics, New York Foundling Hospital.

AMA Am J Dis Child. 1954;88(1):72-80. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1954.02050100074009

IN RECENT years, considerable attention has been directed to the dangers and hazards incident to the misuse of boric acid.* This, of course, has been very rightly inspired by the regrettable reports of accidental deaths, especially in small infants. It is unfortunate, however, that it has not been made clear either to the public or the profession that all reported cases have been due to the accidental, ignorant, and at times negligent application or ingestion of saturated solutions of boric acid, undiluted boric acid powder, or powders and ointments containing high concentrations of boric acid. No cases of local or systemic toxicity have been reported, for example, from the use of standard baby powders, most of which contain boric acid in concentrations up to 5%. These preparations, carefully tested and manufactured by ethical firms, have been safely used and are continuing to be used on countless thousands of infants without

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