COPPER 533- the ashes and pieces of bones were forwarded to the Chemical Examiner for, analysis. Mercury was detected in the spongy parts of the "bones.77 Mercury is often used as a medicine; hence the detection of a small quantity in the viscera does not centra-indicate death from some other cause. Mercury is not a constituent of the human body; hence its detection in the tissues proves that it must have been introduced into the system from outside. COPPER (TAMBA) The salts of copper which are important from a toxicological point of viefw are— 1. Copper Sulphate (Cupric Sulphate, Blue Vitriol or Blue Stone), CuSO4, 5H2O.—The vernacular name of this salt is Nila tutia. It occurs in large, blue, slightly efflorescent crystals, freely soluble in water and having a styptic taste. It is converted into a bluish-white salt, CuSO4, H2O, when heated to 100°C. It becomes anhydrous at 220° to 240°C. Thus anhydrous salt is white and extremely hygroscopic. Copper sulphate is given as an astringent in i to 2-grain doses and as an emetic in 5 to 10-grain doses. In large doses it acts as an irritant poison. It is also probable that small doses of the coarsely powdered salt, repeated frequently, would produce gastric and intestinal irritation and cause death, especially if prescribed when the mucous membrane of the intestinal canal is in a congested state. 2. Copper Carbonate.—The normal carbonate has not been obtained, but a basic carbonate, Cu2(OH)2CO3, occurs native as malachite, and is obtained when carbonate of sodium is added to a solution of copper sulphate. Natural verdigris, the green deposit, which appears on copper when exposed to atmospheric moisture and carbon dioxide, is the same compound. 3. Copper Subacetate (Verdigris, Aerugo), 2Cus(OH)2 (C2H3O2)4.— This is known in the vernacular as zangal. It occurs in powder, or in bluish- green masses of very minute crystals. It is frequently employed in the arts. It is used externally in medicine. Acute Poisoning.—Symtoms.—These commence from a quarter to half- an-hour after swallowing the poison with a metallic taste in the mouth, burning pain in the stomach, thirst, nausea, eructations and repeated vomiting. The vomited matter is blue or ^eeiu±CL--Colour, and can be distinguished from bile by its turning deep blue on the addition of ammo- nium hydroxide. The colour does not change in the case of bile. There is diarrhoea with much straining, the motions being liquid and brown, but not bloody. The urine is suppressed or diminished in quantity, and may contain blood. The skin becomes jaundiced, and cramps of the legs or spasms and convulsions occur. There is frontal headache, and the symptoms of collapse set in, if the dose is large. In some cases there is complete paralysis of the limbs, followed by insensibility and coma ending in death. Fatal Dose.—Uncertain. Half an ounce of copper sulphate proved fatal to a woman, aged 20 years.78 One ounce of copper sulphate has also killed an adult, but recovery Jbas followed a large dose of nearly four ounces. Half an ounce of verdigris has caused the death of an adult. It should be remem- bered that copper sulphate taken in small doses for some time is supposed to be more dangerous than when a large quantity is swallowed at a time. Fatal Period.—The usual fatal period is one to three days, but may "be prolonged for several days. On the contrary, a woman suicide died from 77. Punjab Chemical Examiner's Annual Report, 1925, p. 3. 78. Madras Chemical Examiner's Annual Eeport, 1931, p. 2.