A recent paper on the mode of absorption of mercury in the inunction treatment of syphilis by Dr. Wile and myself1 wa. the stimulus in working out a new method for the detection of small amounts of mercury in the various body fluids and secretions.
In beginning this work, I found after considerable experimentation that the ordinary methods that are employed today were either not sensitive enough to detect small quantities of mercury, or that the more sensitive ones were quite complicated and open to various errors in technic. The work was first begun by the adoption of the original Reinsch method, namely, the deposition of mercury on copper wire in an acidulated solution, drying the wire and driving the mercury by heat on gold leaf, as advocated by Vogel and Lee.2 This method proved satisfactory when a fairly large quantity of mercury was present. It is sensitive,
Elliott JA. A NEW AND DELICATE METHOD FOR THE DETECTION OF MERCURY. JAMA. 1917;LXVIII(23):1693–1694. doi:10.1001/jama.1917.04270060101008
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