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SULPHXJEIC ACID                                                      459

Owing to its acid taste and physical changes brought about in the food
it is not possible to use it for homicidal purposes, unless the victim happens
to be a' child or an adult who is drunk or helpless.

Fig. 163.  Stomach in poisoning by a mixture of
sulphuric and nitric acids.

A baby,1 aged 6 months, died at Bhandara within five hours as a result of sulphuric
acid being administered to her by the stepmother during the mother's absence, in conse-
quence of a quarrel between the two. The lining membrane of the mouth, pharynx,
and oesophagus was dark-brown and corroded, and the stomach was blackish with a big
perforation. An infant, 4 days old, died from the effects of sulphuric acid administered
to it with a view probably to terrniriating its life, as the infant was a freak of nature
and was imperfectly developed.2 A case3 occurred at Ahmedabad where a man was
caught by some persons and held by them while his wife poured some sulphuric acid
into his mouth. He died on the third day. A case 4 is also recorded where a young man
was taken by his friend to witness a hockey match. Feeling thirsty he asked his friend
for a drink of water. On drinking the water he felt burning pain in his lips, tongue and
vomited. The vomited matter was found to contain sulphuric acid.

Accidental cases have occurred from its having been mistaken for
glycerin, syrup or castor oil.

On the llth February 1923, a Mahomedan woman, aged 25, swallowed about an
ounce of commercial sulphuric acid by mistake for a dose of cough mixture, and imme-
diately suffered from severe symptoms of acute poisoning and ultimately died after six

Sulphuric acid has been administered internally as an abortifacient.
The Chemical Examiner, Bengal, informed the author that in the year 1945
a case occurred, where a woman died on the third day after she had been
given the acid with intent to procure abortion. Sulphuric acid has also
been injected into the vagina as an abortifacient and administered accident-
ally as an enema,

Sulphate of indigo is used much in dyeing, and may give rise to
accidental poisoning.

Vitriol Throwing ( Vitriolage) .  Malicious persons occasionally resort to
strong sulphuric acid to disfigure the face or ruin the clothes by throwing a
quantity of it at the hated person. The local effects of the acid are severe
burning pain and corrosion of the tissues with the formation of brownish-
black eschars which leave permanent scars. Death may occur from fii
severe burns inflieled on the skin. Blindness may result, if the eyes jpe

1.    ILP. Chemical ^Exam^etfs" Aztatal Report, 1930:  Leader, hroe H 49

2.    Communication dated Sep* 26, 104$ from the Chemical AraJysgr,, B6^ia|

3.   Bombay Chemical A^^s^Ai^M Report, 1929, * p. "5,    ** " -*****'*"**""

4.   Madras Chemical Ea&^er's Annual Report, 1929, p. 3,