Medicine: Deadly Boric Acid?

Generations of American, mothers have kept boric-acid powder in the medicine chest, believing it to be a harmless remedy for assorted ills such as eye inflammation, diaper rash or prickly heat. Last week Dr. Russell S. Fisher, Maryland's chief medical examiner, told the College cf American Pathologists that boric acid can kill.

Fisher was not talking about the cases where the baby swallows boric-acid solution, or the powder gets mixed with the feeding formula by mistake. The news in his report was that the chemical can sometimes be absorbed through breaks in the skin in sufficient quantities to be fatal.

The seemingly mysterious...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now

Subscribe
Subscribe

Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on TIME.com

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!