Toxicology: Deadly Cookies

Of all the poisons man has concocted to combat his insect and rodent enemies, thallium sulfate is one of the most potent. Vermin can hardly stay away from it; they go right on nibbling baits containing the chemical until they have absorbed a fatal dose. Trouble is, children are likely to do the same, because thallium-sulfate baits are often put up in the shape of doughnuts or made of crumbled cookies. Last week, after years of tracking down victims of infantile curiosity, the A.M.A. Journal reported that nine Texas children died of proven thallium-sulfate poisoning between 1954 and...

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