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Articles from Aids To Forensic Medicine And Toxicology

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Copper And Its Preparations





Poisoning with copper salts is rare. The most important are the
sulphate, subacetate, and arsenite.

=Sulphate of Copper= (bluestone, blue vitriol) in half-ounce doses is a
powerful irritant. Has been given to procure abortion.

=Subacetate of Copper= (verdegris) occurs in masses, or as a greenish
powder. Powerful, astringent, metallic taste. Half-ounce doses have
proved fatal.

Symptoms.--Epigastric pain, vomiting of bluish or greenish matter,
diarrhoea. Dyspnoea, depression, cold extremities, headache, purple line
round the gums. Jaundice is common. A chronic form of poisoning may
occur, with symptoms closely resembling those of lead.

Post-Mortem Appearances.--Inflammation of stomach and intestines,
which are bluish or green in colour.

Treatment.--Encourage vomiting. Give albumin or very dilute solution
of ferrocyanide of potassium.

Method of Extraction from the Stomach.--Boil the contents of the
stomach in water, filter, pass hydrogen sulphide, filter, collect
precipitate and boil in nitric acid, filter, dilute filtrate with water
and apply tests. In the case of the solid organs, dry, incinerate,
digest ash in hydrochloric acid, evaporate nearly to dryness, dilute
with water, and test.

Tests.--Polished steel put into a solution containing a copper salt
receives a coating of metallic copper. Ammonia gives a whitish-blue
precipitate, soluble in excess. Ferrocyanide of potassium gives a rich
red-brown precipitate. Sulphuretted hydrogen gives a deep brown
precipitate.





Next: Zinc Silver Bismuth And Chromium

Previous: Lead And Its Preparations



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