Index Home About Blog
Subject: Re: Chemical that turns hand black
From: (Yogi Shan)
Date: Jun 10 1996
Newsgroups: sci.chem (Chris) wrote:

**> I always thought new born babies' eyes
**> were swabbed with [aqueous] silver nitrate
**> to kill certain infections.

To prevent blindness resulting from infection
transferred from a syphillitic mother during
passage through the birth canal.

Yes, this at least used to be State Law in places
such as California.

**> I probably would not consume it, but if it is
**> ok on a baby's eyes, then I wonder what the
**> danger is to one's skin.

Depends how you define "OK".  Lunar caustic
(AgN03) solution is irritating to the eyes,
and newborns let you know that quite clearly.

Actually, the method was obsolete years ago having
been superceded by antibiotic ointment.

Don't know if the practice is still around, but
due to the State-legislated mandate, it was around
for years after doctors knew better and more
innocuous substances were available.

Of course, we all know how are government legislatures
are busy with so many more important and profound
issues to worry about such trivial matters as
repealing an archaic law.


Index Home About Blog