548 MEDICAL JURISPRUDENCE
the external application of depilatory creams containing thallium acetate.
Ramond22 reports the case of a young girl who suffered from abdominal
pain, paralylsis of the lower limbs and alopecia after she had used on her
face a depilatory cream containing 2.5 per cent of thallium acetate for three
months. Mahoney 23 also describes three cases in which three young women
.suffered from retro-bulbar neuritis from the application of the proprietary
depilatory, Koremlu Cream, containing 7.18 per cent of thallium acetate,
over their faces, arms and legs for a period of one year and a half.
Suicidal and homicidal cases of poisoning are reported to have occurred
from the internal use of a rat-poison paste containing thallium sulphate.
Greving and Gagel24 describe a case in which a woman, aged 30 years, who
attempted to commit suicide by eating half a tube of Zelio-paste, suffered
from great pain, albuminuria, achlorhydria, alopecia, peripheral neuritis,
rapid loss of weight, angina pectoris, tachycardia, incontinence of urine and
faeces, and amenorrhcea.
Two interesting cases25 of murder by thallium are recorded. Zelio-
paste, a rat poison, was administered in both cases in the liquid drunk by
the victims. In the first case a woman, aged 48 years, drank about 0.999 to
2.728 grammes of thallium sulphate in three months. The symptoms were
partly gastric and partly of a nervous nature, which simulated typhoid fever
and later progressive paralysis of the insane. Eight months after burial the
body was exhumed and was found to be well preserved. On analysis 1.6,215
grammes of thallium sulphate were detected in the body. In the second
case, a man, aged 40 years, drank 1 to 3 tubes of Zelio-paste in his wine and
coffee. Polyarthritis was surmised, as the patient complained of pains in
the feet, but later gastro-intestinal symptoms supervened, the hair fell off,
and the patient died. At the post-mortem examination 1.332 grammes of
thallium sulphate were detected in the body. From these cases it is evident
that gastro-intestinal and polyneuritic symptoms together with trophic dis-
turbances of the hair should lead to suspicion of thallium poisoning.
A case 26 is recorded in which thallium was detected in the corpse which
was exhumed five years after burial. The fact that the corpse had been in
a dry grave might have helped the preservation.
The salts of zinc which are important from a toxicological point of view
1. Zinc Chloride, Zncl2.—It occurs as colourless, opaque, deliquescent
rods or masses, freely soluble in alcohol, ether and water. It is used in
medicine as a caustic. It is contained in the proportion of about 350 grains
to the ounce of water in Burnett's fluid, which is used as a disinfectant and
as a soldering fluid. It is also used to load textile fibres. Clothes made
with these fibres, when worn, produce ulcers and sloughs of the skin, with
which they come into contact.
2. Zinc Sulphate (White Vitriol, White Copperas, Safed iutza), ZnSO4,
7H2O.—It is a colourless, crystalline salt, closely resembling magnesium sul-
22. Presse Medicate, 1929, XXXVII, p. 691; also see Brit. Med. Jour., Feb. 21, 1931,
p. 321. ' '
23. Jour.Amer. Med. Assoc., Feb. 20, 1932, p. 618; also see Jour, Amer. Wed. Assoc.,
1931, pp. 1866-1868.
24. Klin. Woch. VII, 1928, 1323; Leschke, Clinic. Toxic., Eng. Transl. by Stewart and
Dorrer, 1934, p. 31.
Vof'n^S'lv"' Cas- fck cesL, 40 (Czech); Med.-Leg. and Criminal Rev,, Oct. 1934,
26. K. Botuner, Deut. Gesell, ger. soz. Med. u. KrimtnaZ, Bonn. Ser>t. 1938: Deut. z,
ges. ger. Med., Jan. 1939, XXX, 270 ; Med.-Leg. and Criminal. Rev., April 1939, p> 200.