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July 24, 1926


JAMA. 1926;87(4):246-247. doi:10.1001/jama.1926.02680040034013

Elsewhere in this issue appears the report of an investigation on "A Method of Laboratory Evaluation and Classification of Mercurials," conducted in the Chemical Laboratory of the Association by J. B. Peterson.3 This work at first glance appears to concern a purely academic problem; in fact, however, it helps to throw light on questions of clinical interest. An increasing number of mercury compounds have been introduced into medicine with the hope that they might be especially adapted to some particular purpose. One of the most important factors that govern these adaptations is the degree of their ionization, for this has an important bearing on their precipitant action on protein, and therefore their local irritant action. To a large extent and in most cases it also controls their antiseptic action. In other words, these important properties depend largely on the degree of ionization of the mercury; and if this could