One hundred Los Angeles women were known to be blind or partly so with cataracts last week as result of taking dinitrophenol to reduce. That drug, whose weight-reducing properties were first cautiously utilized by San Francisco doctors (TIME, July 31, 1933), is illegally and secretly sold in California under the following names: Nitromet, Dinitrolac, Nitra-phen, Dinitriso, Formula 281, Dinitrose, Noxben-ol, Re-du, Aldinol, Dinitrenal, Pre-scription No. 17, Slim, Dinitrole, Tabolin, Redusols. Against them Los Angeles Health Officer John Larrabee Pomeroy last week initiated an elimination drive.
Besides cataracts, dinitrophenol depletes white corpuscles of the blood, causes polyneuritis, is responsible for seven known deaths. Last week in the American Medical Association Journal two Cleveland physicians declared it may also cause heart disease.