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To the Editor:
—The method of sterilizing rubber gloves by two tablets (weight not given) of mercuric cyanid in 4 ounces of alcohol and 4 ounces of talc (time not given) is acknowledged by Dr. Ray Ernest Smith (The Journal, Nov. 15, 1913, p. 1831) to be "theoretically" inefficient; but he says that the gloves "practically surely seem" to be sterile. There are no degrees of sterility of gloves; gloves are either sterile or not sterile and all gloves must be considered contaminated until they are sterile.Mercuric cyanid is useless as a germicide, as may be seen by any one sufficiently interested to read Harrington's article (Boston Med. and Surg. Jour., Jan. 14, 1904). He tested the cyanid in all strengths and mixtures and found that in a 1:500 solution it had no effect on the staphylococcus after thirty minutes. He concluded that in the strength recommended, 1:1,000, it
McDonald E. Method of Sterilizing Rubber Gloves. JAMA. 1913;61(25):2259–2260. doi:10.1001/jama.1913.04350260057024
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