Toxicology: Beware of Iron

Iron poisoning used to be a relative rarity. Old-fashioned iron tonics went out of style in the U.S. long ago, and even when they were around, no child would take more than a swallow of the vile-tasting stuff. But now doctors have learned to use iron tablets in the treatment and prevention of one common form of anemia, especially in pregnant women. And to make them easy to take, the tablets are usually chocolate-or sugar-coated and are brightly colored. They look and taste so much like candy that iron poisoning of small children is becoming increasingly common. In the...

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