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Common Salt Disease from Sodium Chloride



Seafaring men, and others who have lived for a long time on salted foods, are subjected to an induced disease called commonly "sea scurvy," but which is more correctly defined as " saline purpura," inasmuch as it depends on the action of the salt which is taken with the food. The physical change induced consists of a modification in the state of the blood. The specific weight of the blood is unduly increased, the plastic constituents of the blood are held in too extreme a state of solubility, and the corpuscles are reduced in size and made irregular at their edges. The effect of these changes is to render the blood so fluid that it pours out of a wound or into the soft tissues with unnatural readiness. From such parts as the gums the blood exudes freely. It infil trates into the skin, causing dark vascular blotches, purpuric spots, and, sometimes from a wounded surface, or even a weakened vas cular surface, it flows so freely that danger of death from the loss of it becomes imminent. In addition to these changes there follow indirect modifications in other organs, owing to the readiness with which, in its unnatural saline condition, the blood attracts and condenses water. The nervous centres suffer in consequence, and extreme prostration is the result.

Disease from Copper.

The salts of copper are sometimes productive of disease, the acetate being the most commonly offending substance. Food re tained in copper vessels has become poisoned, and peas, beans, and other green vegetable products boiled in contact with copper, for the purpose of increasing or preserving the green color, have also been rendered poisonous. The symptoms are choleraic in character, and attended with severe irritation of the stomach and bowels. When the dose taken has been large, collapse and fatal exhaustion have supervened; or, the acute symptoms having sub sided, long-continued irritation and even ulceration of the mucous tract of the intestinal canal have set in, followed by slow and im perfect recovery.

blood, copper and surface