Medicine: Capsules, Aug. 14, 1972

> Since surgeons first discovered that talc, a finely powdered mineral, could be toxic, they have stopped using it on the skintight rubber gloves they wear while performing operations. Now, according to the Lancet, there are indications that the starch used as a substitute may also be unsafe, leading to a potentially dangerous postoperative condition called "starch peritonitis." The condition, which develops anywhere from ten to 40 days after surgery and produces fever, cramping and abdominal pain, was first believed by doctors to be the result of intestinal obstructions. But those who reoperated discovered no blockages but pearly white nodules on...

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