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May 30, 1891

ON THE CHARACTER OF THE EVIDENCE AS TO THE INJURIOUSNESS OF ARSENIC AS A DOMESTIC POISON.Read in the Section of Practice of Medicine and Physiology, at the Forty-second Annual Meeting of the American Medical Association, held at Washington, D. C., May 5-8, 1891.

Author Affiliations


JAMA. 1891;XVI(22):778-781. doi:10.1001/jama.1891.02410740022001e

This communication is an attempt to place in as clear a light as possible, the credibility of the evidence that symptoms of arsenical poison may occur as a result of the ordinary exposures, such as are met with in domestic or civic life.

I shall not try to indicate the frequency with, which such poisoning occurs, but only the possibility that it may occur; for the question as to frequency can only be satisfactorily answered when a large body of facts have been accumulated, especially those relating to the obscurer forms of chronic poisoning. The first thing to be done, would seem to be to disprove the opinion which has so much weight, even among those who would otherwise credit the evidence of domestic poisoning, that not enough arsenic could possibly reach the tissues to cause serious effects.

For this purpose I shall show: first, that urine analyses indicate beyond