VEGETABLE HAIRS Glass does not produce the desired effect, if it gets entangled in the mucus or food in the stomach. Similarly it will not have any bad effects, if it is so well powdered as not to have any sharp points, or if it is so well chewed as to get well powdered before it is swallowed. This is the reason, why professional exhibitors (human ostriches) do not come by any harm by swallowing glass. Some years ago, the author saw in Bombay a gentle- man and his wife both eating chimney glass without any ill-effects. DIAMOND POWDER "When swallowed, diamond or diamond powder may produce injurious effects owing to the mechanical action of its sharp prominent angles and edges. However, owing to a false popular belief that it is highly poisonous, diamond powder is sometimes taken suicidally or administered homicidally. In his annual report for the year 1935, the Chemical Examiner, Madras, mentions the case of a man, who swallowed one morning 8 powdered diamonds (size not known) with a view to committing suicide. An hour later he complained of pain in the stomach and was attended to by a doctor. His stomach was washed out, and was given butter and boiled rice. The stomach wash was found to contain minute transparent particles of diamond under the microscope. He also quotes another case in his annual report for the year 1949, where a woman removed one of the diamonds from her ear ring, powdered and swallowed it after locking herself in a room. She recovered under treatment. In a Hyderabad poisoning case it was alleged that diamond powder was administered in pansupari, but it had no effect^ In the famous Baroda case white arsenic and a vety fine powder of diamond were mixed in a sherbet drink. NEEDLES These have been swallowed for suicidal purposes, and are known to have caused death. Rarely, needles mixed with food may be used for homicidal purposes. A case1(> of attempted murder by making a man swallow plantains in which a number of sewing needles had been hidden was registered in the police-station of Gudiatham under section 307, I.P.C., against one Balu Iyer and another person. One Srinivasa Rao, an ex^- employee of a hotel in Gudiatham, revealed in his statement to the police that in fulfil- ment of a wager entered into between him and the son of his former employer, he was made to swallow four plantains, one by one. As he was swallowing the fourth plantain, a needle pricked his throat and only then he realized that a trick had been played on him. He immediately rushed to Madras and sought admission into the general hospital. Here twenty-three needles came out as a result of his vomit, and an x-ray examination of the man showed that there were still about twelve needles in his intestines, giving him excruciating pain. CHOPPED ANIMAL HAIRS These are supposed to be poisonous, and have been given to cattle with the idea of destroying them, but it should not be forgotten that sometimes round boluses of hairs are found in the stomach and intestines of animals dead from natural causes. Finely chopped human hair is recognized as a slow poison and given in curry or other soft food in Singapore. In his annual report for the year 1932, the Chemical Examiner of Bengal reports a case where chopped hair mixed with dry plantain leaves and dust was given to a woman for administration of the same to her husband with food " to correct his temper and to make him love her "„ A case u is also recorded where a tuft of chopped hair and small fragments of human nails were administered in rice and vegetables to a Mahomedan male by his wife probably as love->philters. Chopped human hair mixed with lime, earth or powdered bone is used as a cattle poison, particularly in the districts of Gaya and Hazaribagh in Bihar and in the district of Mymensingh in Bengal.12 VEGETABLE HAIRS Fine, short hairs derived from the leaves and stalks of certain plants are called stinging hairs, and act as mechanical irritants when they come into direct contact with the skin. These hairs taper towards their apices and terminate in small bulbs, which 9. Times of India, Dec. 21, 1935. 10. Times of India, June 20, 1950, p. 3. 11. Beng. Chem, Exam. Ann. Rep., 1936, p. 11. 12. Beng. Chem. Exam. Ann. Rep., 1937, p. 16.