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Sir,— Because the addition of mercury to teething powders, was discontinued a good many years ago we are apt to forget the possibility of pink disease.
The following case report indicates the danger of complacence in this matter.
An irritable boy aged 21 months was referred to the outpatient department on account of loss of weight of three weeks' duration. On examination he looked as if he had lost weight: he was pulling his hair out, and scratching his wrists and feet. His hands and feet were unusually pink, and he was perspiring. There were no other abnormal physical signs. Urine mercury was 56μg/100 ml.
The mother stated that she had been administering teething powders intermittently since the age of 8 months. The powders were Steedman's, and they contained 26.7% hydrarg. subchlor. They had been obtained most recently from a grocer's shop three weeks previously.
The principal medical officer of
Harris PF. PINK DISEASE. Am J Dis Child. 1966;112(2):165. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1966.02090110109014