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March 21, 1885

POISONING BY TURPETH MINERAL.Editor of the Journal of the American Medical Association

JAMA. 1885;IV(12):333. doi:10.1001/jama.1885.02390870025009

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Dear Sir,  —Having noted the facts that several cases of poisoning by turpeth mineral (mercuric sub-sulphate) have been reported in the journals during the past year; that all of the cases, if I remember rightly, have occurred in children; and that the reporters have declared themselves at a loss to explain the rationale of this effect of what is generally considered an insoluble salt, it has occurred to me that an explanation may be found in the effect produced upon turpeth mineral by hydrochloric acid—assuming, of course, that the acid furnished by the stomach is hydrochloric acid.In the cases which have been reported, the amount of the turpeth mineral given has been, as a rule, as much as grs. iij, and more.Mercuric subsulphate, when subjected to the action of hydrochloric acid, is resolved into corrosive sublimate and mercuric sulphate, two atoms of water being set free. This being

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