536; MEDICAL JURISPRUDENCE
in banana to a boy, 18 years old, as a remedy for an enlarged spleen. Soon
afterwards the boy suffered from vomiting and purging, and died within 24
A case 84 of accidental poisoning is reported in which a boy, 6 years oldy
died from copper poisoning after 9 cc. of 10 per cent copper sulphate solution
were injected into a tuberculous fistula. Autopsy showed severe parenchy-
matous injury to the heart, liver and kidneys. Chemical analysis revealed
almost the total amount of the injected copper in the liver.
3. Poisonous symptoms may occur from the application of the salt to
an abraded or raw surface and from its introduction into the vagina.
4. Copper sulphate is added to impart a rich green colouration to
preserved and tinned peas, other vegetable substances and pickles, but the
quantity is so small (probably one grain to one pound), that toxic effects
are not usually produced and the salt, when taken into the stomach, is very
likely converted into harmless albuminate of copper.
5. Copper is a normal constituent of the body, and is found in the urine,,
fseces, blood and other biological tissue fluids, and in the liver. It is taken
into the system along with food, as it exists in minute traces in almost all
the varieties of food, such as cereals, potatoes, beans, spinachj different
varieties of fruits, and even in mineral water. Hence the detection of copper
in the viscera is of no value unless the quantity found is excessive ; however,
on account of free vomiting provoked by its salt, a very small quantity may
be left in the organs. It is, therefore, essential to examine chemically the
vomited matter, whenever available.
6. Copper is eliminated from the system more by the bowels than by
the kidneys. It has been estimated that the amount of copper excreted by a
Hindu male or female (not a widow) in the faeces in normal conditions is
about 67-times the average limit of that passed in the urine, while it is about
75, 80 and 85 times in cases of Mahomedans, Anglo-Indians, Europeans and
Hindu widows respectively. This variation is probably due to the difference
in the diet and cooking utensils used by the different communities.85
Copper is also excreted in traces in the saliva, bile and milk, and it is
possible that a portion may accumulate very slowly in the body. Copper is:
said to pass to the foetus in utero through the blood of the mother. Rai
Bahadur K. N. Bagchi, Chemical Examiner, Bengal, has found from his
investigations that the healthy foetal tissues, specially the liver, normally con-
tain much larger quantities of copper—about three hundred per cent more
—than the healthy adult tissues.80
The following are the preparations of lead, which are used in medicine
or in the arts : —
1 Lead Acetate, Pb(C2H3O2)2, 3H2O.—This is commonly called sugar
or lead or salt of Saturn. It occurs in white masses of acicular crystals,
slightly efflorescent and having a sweet, astringent taste. It dissolves in
water, forming an acid solution. It is also soluble in glycerin and in alcohol
(90 per cent). It looks very much like loaf sugar. It is an official pre-
paration, the dose being i to 2 grains. It occurs in the composition of non-
official preparations, Suppo&torium plumbi cum opio and Pilula plumbi cum
opio (dose, 2 to 4 grains).
84 B. Behrens, Deut Zeit. f. Ges. Ger. Medizin, Dec. 1937, Bd. 29, s. p. 171: Med.-Leg.
and Criminal. Rev., Vol. VI, Part H, April 1938, p. 209.
-.nrn* S* 5: C^atterii and H- D- Ganguly, Ind. J. Med. Res., Vol. XXXVIII, No. 3, July
1950, pj>. 303-305.
86. Annual Report, 1939, p. 6.