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DRUGS 

vs. 

Public Health. 

cv^£)(b 


While every resource is being used to find out the 
best treatment of diseases, it is equally important to 
know the avoidable causes of sickness, and admonish the 
people to so order their lives that no ailment may result 
from a disregard of Nature’s laws. It is evident that the 
medical profession has had considerable to do in reliev¬ 
ing the suffering in the world, but it has not taken as 
much interest in discovering and endeavoring to remove 
the causes of ill health. So long as the people do not 
observe natural laws, we shall have no abatement of 
nervous exhaustion and the increase of broken down 
constitutions. It is not difficult to see that there is in 
preventive medicine a vast unexplored region. Public 
hygiene is still in its infancy. Certain forces are at work 
producing sickness, and a vast amount of drugs are used 
to counteract the evil tendencies engendered, without 
sufficient attention being given to the causes that have 
occasioned the sickness, and the removal of which will 
restore health with little or no medicine. We study 
fully the effects of disease, but do not as fully investi¬ 
gate the causes, which are more difficult to find. The 
communicable diseases, such as scarlet fever, measles, 
yellow fever, diphtheria, etc., are known by their mani¬ 
festations, but no one has yet discovered the principle 


Read at the Fifteenth Annual Session of the Indiana Institute of 
Homoeopathy, at Indianapolis, Ind. 







4 


Drugs vs. Public Health. 

upon winch they invade the human system. Their mys¬ 
teries many have undertaken to explain, but nothing more 
has been accomplished than to show how the body may 
be prepared for disease, as a farmer ploughs and harrows 
his ground before he sows the seed. It is necessary for 
us to know whether a certain disease is developed by 
inherited tendencies, or an invisible and indefinable 
miasm, or fermentation, or germs, or animalculae; or, 
whether what we call a disease is partly or wholly due 
to the long continued abuse of drugs. The views now 
held by the majority of physicians regarding the origin 
of disease date only from the cholera epidemics of 1832 
and 1849, and the well known researches of Pasteur into 
the processes of fermentation and putrefaction, and the 
minute organisms connected with them. It is but recently 
that physicians have seriously begun to inquire into the 
causes of disease, and the advancement already made 
gives us reason to believe that before another decade 
sanitary science will be taught in our public schools. 

Being impressed with the fact that a great deal of the 
suffering in the world has been brought on by the igno¬ 
rance, not only of the common people, hut doctors ; and 
that diseases regarded as mysterious and past finding out 
are frequently due to excessive medication and poly-phar¬ 
macy , I have undertaken in this paper to show how 
drugs affect the public health and increase the death 
rate of this country. The old school medicine of the 
past is not medicine properly so-called, hut medico- 
chemistry pure and simple. The chemists have led the 
way and the doctors have followed, without stopping to 
find out how drugs act upon the healthy human organ¬ 
ism, or to look for a natural law upon which all success¬ 
ful remedial treatment depends. The most violent drugs 
were never more used and abused than at the present 
time. Preparations of Arsenic, Nux Vomica, Opium, 
Mercury, Belladonna and all the most energetic alka¬ 
loids are in common use by old school doctors, both in 
acute and chronic diseases. There is not a day in which 
an observing pract itioner of medicine does not see patients 
compelled to submit to the most powerful medicine, either 
in granules, or sugar or gelatine-coated pills, or fluid ex- 



Drugs vs. Public Health. 5 

tracts, or alkaloids, or resinoids, or tinctures, or powders 
composed of rarely less than from three to a dozen of the 
most deadly poisons. Allopathy abounds in classic liter¬ 
ature on the history of medicine, pathology, etiology, 
and diagnosis, but in therapeutics the wildest liberty of 
action is taught and practiced, and the maximum —sel¬ 
dom or never the minimum— doses of the selected drugs 
are administered, regardless of physiology and hygiene. 
If the attending allopath desires to give his patient rest 
from pain, he never stops to inquire what remedy is best 
adapted to the case, from the physiological standpoint of 
the therapeutist, but immediately gives his patient an 
anodyne, and afterward writes his long prescription. To¬ 
day, as seen from the allopathic literature, the subcuta¬ 
neous injection of Morphia has become almost universal, 
and it is employed for complaints of the most trivial 
character. 

The immediate and remote dangers of extending this 
practice are great. There is apt to be a slurring of 
diagnosis and a blind treatment of the most prominent 
symptoms. By such practice the common people are 
taught how to administer anodynes, and resort to them 
in every painful emergency, no matter how much injury 
may be inflicted on the nerves, and not stopping to in¬ 
quire what the nature of the disease is or what ought to 
be done. The slovenly diagnosis and unscientific treat¬ 
ment of the ordinary allopath is largely resultant of his 
practice to hastily administer Morphia, Chloral hydrate, 
or some other sedative, and afterward prescribe large 
doses of Quinine and stimulants, before he has studied 
the minor symptoms in a case, or examined carefully the 
patient’s family and personal history. I claim that the 
increasing consumption of Opium, Chloral hydrate, 
Hashish, alcohol, tobacco, tea, and coffee is due directly 
to the old school doctor, whose practice has daily taught 
the use of anodynes for centuries. The routine practice 
of the so-called regular physician of to-day injures by 
example and precept the public health to an alarming 
degree. The officinal and magisterial preparations of 
the chemists fill the shelves of the apothecaries, and, by 
order of the “ regular” physician, are daily handed out 


6 


Drugs vs. Public Health. 

in maximum doses to suffering and ignorant people, who 
succumb under their power. Enterprising chemists are 
continually inventing new mixtures and pushing them 
before the notice of practitioners by sending free samples 
to them. A mixture is used for a time until another 
“ elegant preparation” is brought forward, which is ac¬ 
cepted and used by the bland Esculapius in his ceaseless 
round of experimentation. Therapeutics, according to 
this plan, is made an easy and popular me.tliod of treating 
the sick, even though it be unscientific and unsuccessful. 

Druggists presume upon their meagre knowledge of 
medicine gained by handling drugs and compounding 
the same prescriptions from day to day, and, on the ap¬ 
plication of ignorant people, undertake to prescribe as 
sub-physicians for every ailment which human flesh is 
heir to. From the uncertainty of this “shot gun prac¬ 
tice,” great harm is done in the majority of cases, and to 
the troubles the patient complains of may be added those 
of drug poisoning. The skillful physician who after¬ 
ward treats such cases must give antidotes until he 
ascertains the original cause of suffering. People are 
dying every day from unknown causes, and both physi¬ 
cians and ministers, called in at the last hour, are unable 
to give true diagnoses. The former may assign a vague 
reason in a given case for the untimely decease, based 
upon experience and general reading, and the latter may 
console the friends by the reflection that death occurred 
by order of Providence. Yet the mystery remains. 

The sale of patent medicines makes up at least fifty 
per cent, of the business and profit of every drug store, 
and competent authorities state that “more secret rem¬ 
edies are prepared, sold and consumed in the United 
States than in any other country.” The baneful effects 
of this indiscriminate use of drugs is not understood 
properly, and it is hard to teach the public that cures 
are very seldom made by “ patent medicines,” and where 
one is benefited by them, a thousand are permanently 
injured ; that there is not a disease known which they 
are not recommended to cure, their efficacy being based 
often on the temporary or imaginary relief afforded in 
certain cases ; and that pain is only a sentinel to warn us 


7 


Drugs vs. Public Health. 

against the approach of disease, and when the disease 
has invaded the system, to keep us informed of its ad¬ 
vancement, and is not to he mistaken for the disease 
itself and silenced by a powerful narcotic. The common 
people are unable to distinguish between symptoms of a 
disease and the disease itself, and do not realize that a 
drug which has produced a good effect in one case may 
be entirely unadapted to another case. In compounding 
“ patent medicines ” the most energetic agents are used 
in quantities which would astonish even an allopathic 
physician. Such powerful anodynes, stimulants, .cathar¬ 
tics, and diuretics as are found in secret medicines pro¬ 
duce quickly decided effects, and for this reason “ patent 
medicines” are popular and salable. The great harm 
done the public by the use of these mixtures no one can 
estimate, for the worst effects may not be manifest at 
once, but the evil habit of resorting to them in every 
sickness, before the physician is called, has been formed, 
and mental and moral ruin and death will ultimately be 
the result. If United States law should compel the 
publication of the formulas of “ patent medicines,” much 
would be done towards averting the dreadful calamity 
already upon us. 

So far I have spoken of the relations of “regular” 
doctors, druggists, and nostrums to the public health, 
taking into consideration more especially the guantity 
and not the quality of medicine dispensed. A great deal 
has been written on the adulteration, sophistication, and 
substitution of drugs, but still the pharmacists carry on 
the evil practice with great profit; and the inspection of 
drugs, with a view to a standard of quality, is intention¬ 
ally or otherwise neglected. The homceopathists have 
always refused to patronize the ordinary drug stores, 
for the reason that the tinctures or powders obtained 
there cannot be relied upon for purity; therefore they 
deal with regular homoeopathic pharmacies which they 
know to be responsible. The entire business of these 
pharmacies is dependent upon the good opinion of homoe¬ 
opathic physicians concerning the purity and reliability 
of their drugs and attenuations. The homoeopathic 
pharmacy is not a place where “patent medicines,” 


8 Drugs vs. Public Health. 

perfumeries, liiglily-scented soaps, paints, oils, win¬ 
dow glass, soda water, etc., are sold. It is rather a 
place devoted exclusively to the Inspection, preparation, 
and attenuation of pure drugs and the filling of pre¬ 
scriptions according the most scientific method. The 
most intelligent people in every community are now 
looking to the homoeopathic profession and pharmacies 
to bring about an entire revolution in medicine. The 
medical millennium is approaching. Old school empiri¬ 
cism and intolerance are being bound and the truths first 
proclaimed by Hahnemann are fast becoming triumphant 
throughout the world. Already the fact that very few pure 
drugs can be obtained from the ordinary druggist has 
become known outside of the homoeopathic profession ; 
and mavy old school doctors who deride homoeopathy, buy 
homoeopathic medicines for their own use It is only 
within the last two years that old school organizations 
have begun to inquire seriously into adulterations, sub¬ 
stitutions and deteriorations of drugs, and the United 
States Government has never paid any attention to this 
subject until recently. The National Board of Health 
has made an extended report within the last year. In 
the table showing “the principal inferiorities, such as 
adulterations, sustitutions and deteriorations of drugs, 
recorded in the current literature of the United States 
during the past twenty-five or thirty years, but more 
particularly during the last ten years,” 154 drugs, con¬ 
sisting of barks, herbs, leaves, flowers, roots, exudation 
products, fixed oils, volatile oils and miscellaneous drugs 
are given. 

To enumerate the different adulterations, or sub¬ 
stitutions, or deteriorations which have been, are 
now, and probably will be in the market, w ould be an 
exceedingly tedious task. In the same report above 
referred to, under the head of “ Causes of Inferiorities 
in Drugs and chemicals as given in acknowledged stand¬ 
ards of pharmacy and medicine,” 212 drugs are named, 
and the impurities, deteriorations, adulterations and 
substitutions are given. I will name a few of the 
inferiorities which a competent pharmacist can find 
almost any time, as follows : Hyoscyamus leaves sub- 



9 


Drugs vs. Public Health. 

stituted by leaves of other species of Hyoscyamus and 
sometimes containing bay leaves and branches from 
unknown plants. Calendula flowers adulterated with 
florets of Tagetes erecta, T. Patula. Aconite root mouldy, 
tasteless, exhausted and redried, adulterated with other 
species of Aconite and the root of Imperatoria ostruthi- 
um. Belladonna root substituted by malvaceous roots. 
Acetic acid made from inferior and filthy material and 
adulterated by mineral and other acids. Hydrocyanic 
acid adulterated by sulphuric and hydrochloric acids. 
Hither impure and deficient in strength substituted for 
stronger (ether. Antimonii et potass, tart., containing tin, 
lead, copper, arsenic, chlorides, and sulphates, from 
careless manufacture and often adulterated by Bitar¬ 
trate of Potassium. Valerianate of Ammonium adul¬ 
terated by fixed alkalies, sulphate, phosphate, chloride 
and acetate of ammonium. Arnica flcncers mixed with 
other yellow composite fknvers, and Arnica root mixed 
or entirely substituted with that of Genum urbanum 
and other composite plants. Cantharis adulterated 
with euphorbium, rendered weighty with fixed oils, 
and admixed with other insects. Muriatic acid crudely 
manufactured and often so inferior as to be unfit for use. 
Impure Chloroform sold for pure. Cinchona adulterated 
by inferior barks and enriched with Chinoidine. Conium 
deteriorated by age and exposure and the leaves of 
Aethusa Cynapium, Anthriscus syhestris and different 
species of (.hraophyllum substituted. Copaiba adulter¬ 
ated by fixed oils, turpentine, resin, volatile oils, and 
gurjun balsam. Cresylic acid from coal tar, adulterated 
with Guaiacol., carbolic acid, tar oil and fixed oils, 
largely used for true Beech Tar Creosote. Crocus adul¬ 
terated by fixed oil, sulphate of baryta, chalk and honey. 
Cubeba, admixed with Cubeba canina, Piper nigrum, 
Myrtus pimenta aed fruits of Bhamnus Catharticus. 
Digitalis leaves admixed with leaves of Digitalis ochro- 
lenca, Verbascum, Conyza squarrosa, Symphytum officinale 
and Inula helenium. Ergot substituted by ergot of 
barley, oats, etc. Ipecacuanha substituted by other 
South American emetic roots. Lycopodium substituted 
by pine pollen and often adulterated with sporules of 


10 Drugs vs. Public Health. 

allied species of Lycopodium, Talc, Gy sum, resin, dextrin, 
starch, and sulphur. Moschus adulterated and substi¬ 
tuted by foreign substances flavored. Quinia salts sub¬ 
stituted by cheaper alkaloids of Cinchona. Spigelia 
substituted by roots of Phlox Carolina. And so on, until 
every drug for which there is any use has been found 
adulterated or counterfeited. Profs. Stille and Maiscli 
regarded the inferiorities in drugs and chemicals as being 
general, and in their late work—“ The National Dispen¬ 
satory ”—they gave, under the head of each drug 
respectively, the adulterations or substitutions or deteri¬ 
orations found in commerce every day. Boston whole¬ 
sale and retail druggists say that it is impossible to make 
a living by the sale of honest goods. Pure drugs are 
very expensive and there is a constant demand for cheap 
drugs. Pharmaceutists are meeting the demand with 
inferior goods, and the druggists buy them because they 
are cheap. Perhaps the druggist does not design to 
injure the public health, or to practice fraud, but is mak¬ 
ing a desperate effort to make money, without stopping 
to inquire into the quality of the medicines he dispenses. 
He may not be guilty of a malicious intention when 
competition in business obliges him to be energetic and 
economical. It should not be forgotten that among 
dealers in drugs and medicines those who have quali¬ 
fied themselves by a systematic course of study, are 
rarely found. About ninety-nine per cent, of them enter 
upon their business solely as tradesmen and with no 
other motive than to make money. Ignorance forms a 
large per cent, of every druggist’s stock in trade, and the 
average drug handler is unable to tell the difference 
between a genuine drug and its inferiority or a total coun¬ 
terfeit. When he fills a prescription of half a dozen 
ingredients, he cannot truthfully state that he has put 
in the exact number and amount, or a dozen other drugs 
not named, and neither he nor the physician who wrote 
the prescription, can prognosticate what the effect will 
be upon the patient. Of course the effect will be differ¬ 
ent from that intended by the prescriber, and one large 
prescription after another follows in quick succession. 
The patient dies, not from the disease, but from overdosing 



Drugs vs. Public Health. 11 

and adulterated medicine. Only the undertaker is happy. 
The “ regular ” doctor complains that the druggist and 
the undertaker make all the money, and presently he will 
carry his own medicine obtained from a homoeopathic 
pharmacy, like his homoeopathic brother. Then the 
numerous red, blue, and green lights displayed by cor¬ 
ner druggists will disappear forever, the death rate will 
grow less and the undertaker’s business will be not so 
extravagantly remunerative. 

Dr. Field, who has practiced old school medicine for 
fifty years said, at the late meeting of the Allopathic Med¬ 
ical Society of the 3d Congressional District of Indiana : 

“In the treatment of important diseases prescriptions 
are changed too often, frequently as often as the doctor 
makes a visit to his patient, proving that he either does 
not understand the disease, or that he lias no faith in 
the medicines prescribed. In cities where drug stores 
are convenient there is great extravagance in the use of 
medicine. After the close of a case of severe sickness, 
it is not unusual to find the mantelpiece covered with 
pill-boxes, powders, vials and other debris of the 
wonderful skill of the attending physician. Many 
of the vials are but little depleted of their contents, and 
so of the pill-boxes and powders. There are enough 
left to cure several cases more of the same disease. 
This waste of medicine is, however, no loss to the doc¬ 
tor. In cases where prescriptions have been numerous 
it is possible that the unfortunate patient gets well in 
spite of the doctor. 

“ Many years of experience will teach some physicians 
economy in the use of drugs ; that one good prescrip¬ 
tion, if adapted to the case, if fairly tried, will generally 
accomplish all that nature requires to aid her in over¬ 
coming the disease. 

“The manufacturing chemists have been very busy 
contributing to the welfare of suffering humanity, their 
own welfare included. Every living thing in nature, 
even to the stomachs and intestines of filthy swine, have 
been laid under requisition for means to save the world 
from an untimely grave. The name of these new 
remedies is legion. Like the locusts of the Orient, they 


12 


Drugs vs. Public Health. 

darken the very air. They come to us in swarms ; in the 
form of alkaloids, resinoids, globules, granules, lozenges, 
elixirs, fluid extracts, sugar-coated pills, medicated 
meat, malt, and a multitude of compounds and combina¬ 
tions too tedious to mention—all nicely decorated with 
fancy covers, accompanied with certificates of extraordi¬ 
nary virtues. With all these vast resources of the heal¬ 
ing art, nobody ought to die except from old age or acci¬ 
dent. But still some few die in spite of these new rem¬ 
edies. It may be owing to delay in sending for the doc¬ 
tor. or to the tardiness of the prescription business. Now 
and then one dies before the prescription can reach him.” 

I desire to call attention to the fact that old druggists 
advertise that they keep new and pure drugs, while sev¬ 
enty-five per cent, or more of their stock in trade is what 
they first started into business with years ago, and the 
drugs have deteriorated by age. Druggists pretend to 
keep wines many years old, brought directly from the 
vineyards of sunny France, or some other foreign coun¬ 
try, the fact being that all their wines and whiskies 
were obtained not far from home, and are not what they 
are represented to be. Cheap whiskies, wines, bran¬ 
dies, etc., are kept by most druggists, and are made from 
third or fourth-proof spirits by adding various artificial 
ethers, essential oils, tinctures and essences, to give 
flavor. Burnt sugar or caramel is added to give color, a 
small proportion of syrup improves the taste, and water 
is used to decrease alcoholic strength. Cocculus indicus, 
tobacco and aloes are used in beer and ale. 

Physicians of the old school often express their want 
of confidence in the action of remedies, and they are accus¬ 
tomed to write prescriptions with many ingredients, on 
the theory that one of a dozen drugs will certainly hit and 
cure a case. It is not uncommon to find in these long pre¬ 
scriptions antagonists and incompatibles. One substance 
refuses to unite with another in solution, without chemi¬ 
cal change, and the formation of an entirely different sub¬ 
stance from either, or one agent antidotes the other, and 
the result is nil. Acids, acidulous salts and metallic 
salts will antagonize Alkalies. Alkaloids of Belladonna, 
Stramonium and Hyoscyamus are decomposed by Caustic 


Drug's vs. Public Health. 


13 


alkalies. Carbonate of Ammonium is incompatible with 
vegetable and mineral acids, lime water, earthy salts and 
acidulous salts. Acetate of Ammonium is incompatible 
with acids, potash, soda and their carbonates. Benzoate 
of Ammonium is incompatible with liquor potassae, acids, 
and persalts of iron. Muriate of Ammonium is incom¬ 
patible with alkalies, alkaline earths and their carbon¬ 
ates and lead and silver salts. Sulphurous and Sul¬ 
phuric acids decompose sulphites and hyposulphites. 
Iodine is incompatible with vegetable alkaloids, me¬ 
tallic salts and mineral acids. Corrosive sublimate is in¬ 
compatible with Tarter emetic, Nitrate of Silver, Ace¬ 
tate of Lead, Iodide of Potassium, and alkalies and their 
carbonates. Alum is chemically incompatible with 
alkalies and their carbonates, and Acetate of Lead. 
Blood root is incompatible with alkalies, tannic and 
gallic acids, and most of* the metallic salts. Nux vom¬ 
ica is incompatible with Conium, Tobacco, Opium, Bella¬ 
donna and Physostigma and is antagonized by Chloral, 
Tobacco, Bromide of Potassium, Ether, and Chloroform. 
Digitalis is incompatible with Cinchona, Acetate of 
Lead, Sulphate and Tincture of the Chloride of Iron. 
Quinine, Digitalis and Ergot antagonize the action of Va¬ 
lerian. Opium is antagonized by alkaline carbonates, lime 
water and the salts of iron, lead, copper, zinc, mercury 
and Fowler’s Solution. Bromides are incompatible with 
acids, and acidulous and metallic salts. Conium is in¬ 
compatible with caustic alkalies and tannic acid, and is 
antagonized by Nux vomica and its alkaloids. Jabor- 
andi is incompatible with caustic alkalies, the persalts 
of iron, and salts of metals generally, and is antago¬ 
nized by Belladonna. 

Enough of the incompatibles and antagonists are here 
given from Bartholow to show how careful a physician 
who writes long prescriptions must be to combine syner¬ 
getic remedies. Chomel said, ‘ It is only the second law 
in therapeutics to do good, the first being not to do 
harm.” But few physicians of the old persuasion make 
this Golden Rule the guiding principle in their faith and 
practice To prove how frequently doctors make mistakes 
and write incompatibles and antagonists together, one 


14 


Drugs vs. Public Health. 

should obtain permission to exarhine the list of can¬ 
celled prescriptions in any old drug store. The frightful 
revelations there made will convince the scientific phy¬ 
sician that drugs are oftener the means of death than of 
life. The collusion of physicians and druggists in the 
practice of ‘ ‘ beating ” patients by over-charges for med¬ 
icines under prescriptions and other alleged tricks of 
the profession only needs to be named to be condemned. 
I believe that drugs injuriously affect the public health, 
not only through everything the people use as medicine, 
but the physical degeneration of the human race is 
helped on to a considerable degree by the general prac¬ 
tice of drugging almost every article of diet and every¬ 
thing used for the comfort of our bodies. 

The poisonous adulteration of food and the intermix¬ 
ture of injurious compounds with the essentials of life 
is being carried to such an extent that interference is 
called for, and a thorough investigation should be made. 
The European governments have long exercised restric¬ 
tive measures. The German government, in 1878, had 
281,478 samples of different articles analyzed and obtained 
3,352 convictions; and in 1879 Great Britain analyzed 
16,772 samples and 2,978 adulterations were found ; while 
the British Parliament passed a law about four years 
ago for the inspection of all teas, and those adulterated 
to be destroyed ; 7,000 chests were burned last year in 
British India. Prussian Blue, Prussic acid and Chromate 
of lead are used to adulterate teas. Coffee is adulterated 
by lamp black, Chromate of lead, logwood, mahogany, 
roasted acorns, baked liver and numerous other articles. 

Since stringent measures have been adopted in Eng¬ 
land, adulterated teas have been largely shipped to this 
country, where they can be disposed of without molesta¬ 
tion. The French government has taken measures to 
stop the sale of toys which are colored with poison¬ 
ous substances, and which have been declared dangerous 
to the health of children, and have recently passed a de¬ 
cree prohibiting the sale of all eatables from “ soldered 
cans.” Tin and lead are found in poisonous quantities 
in a great variety of canned vegetables, fruits and meats. 
Seven-eighths of all the sugar sold in Chicago is glu- 


Drugs vs. Public Health. 15 

cose made from corn starch and oil of vitriol. Sugars 
are full of acids ; chloride of tin and chloride of calcium 
—active poisons—are frequently found in them. Syrups 
are made largely from glucose, and chlorides of tin ; cal¬ 
cium, iron and magnesia have been found in them in 
poisonous quantities. 

The cream of tartar in commerce is adulterated by 
Terra alba —white clay powdered—to the extent of sev¬ 
enty-five per cent. Stomach ailments, such as heart¬ 
burn, dyspepsia and indigestion, and kidney complaints 
result from such foreign substances in food. Terra alba, 
copper, chromate of lead, red lead, vermillion, Prussian 
blue, arsenic and glucose are used in confectionery ; alum 
and sulphate of copper may be found in bread ; baking 
powders contain Kaolin, plaster of paris, whiting, terra 
alba and alum ; cheese is vitiated by potatoes, beans, 
oleomargarine, vermillion, red chalk, sulphate of copper. 
Arsenic and Corrosive sublimate ; quicklime, boiled starch 
and alum have been detected in lard; Sulphuric acid, Ver¬ 
digris and Sugar of lead have been discovered in pickles ; 
vinegar is rarely found pure, and is often adulterated by 
Sulphuric acid, Arsenic and Corrosive sublimate; and 
milk is rendered impure by a variety of articles. About 
90 per cent, of all the milk sold in Boston has been found 
to be adulterated. Bad water obtained from barn-yards 
and dangerous sources is largely used to dilute milk. 
Analine colors in fruit, jellies, preserves, sausage and 
wine are intended to deceive the public, and to render - 
salable inferior goods. 

We import annually nearly three million pounds of 
Arsenic. Two thousand eight hundred human beings can 
be fatally poisoned by a single pound. What becomes of 
this large supply of A rsenic ? Mr. Angell says,' ‘ It is used 
in w all-papers, paper curtains, lamp shades, boxes, wrap¬ 
ping papers for confectionery, tickets, cards, children’s 
kindergarten papers, artificial flowers, dried grasses, eye 
shades, and numerous other articles. One chemist finds 
eight grains of Arsenic to each square foot of a dress ; 
another ten grains of Arsenic in a single artificial flower. 
Among the articles frequently made dangerous by this or 
other poisons may be named ladies’ dress goods, veils, sew- 


16 Drugs vs. Public Health. 

ing silks, threads, stockings, gentlemen’s underclothing, 
socks, gloves, hat-linings, linings of boots and shoes, 
paper collars, babies’ carriages, colored enamel cloths, 
children’s toys, various fabrics of wool, silk, cotton, and 
leather in various colors.” Prof. Lattimore says, “ We 
now wear Arsenic in our apparel, eat it in sweetmeats, 
drink it in syrup, and write with it as ink.” 

I am credibly informed by merchants and chemists 
that the above representations concerning the poisoning 
of everything we handle, taste or wear, are facts which 
can be verified at any time by a thorough examination. 
Dishonest chemists are employed by manufacturers to 
convince the public that glucose and oleomargarine are 
harmless substances. Thousands of dollars are paid to 
prominent chemists every year to sanction the adultera¬ 
tion of food and medicine. There seems to be no moral 
or legal restraint to the reprehensible practice of manu¬ 
facturing, buying and selling adulterated goods to the 
great inj ury of the public health. 

Money is uppermost in the minds of men and *' the 
spirit of murder lurks in the very means of life.” 

We boast of our churches and educational institutions, 
but we fail to influence men to practice the Golden Rule, 
and to stand firmly on the rock of solid honesty We 
send missionaries to teach the heathen, while we have, 
in every community and at our own doors, those who are 
lost to all sense of right living. Having before us such 
an astonishing revelation of fraud in the essentials of 
life, can we wonder that infant mortality is so great, that 
there are so many invalids in this country, and that so 
very few people live three-score years and ten ? It will 
soon be impossible to put upon our tables any article of 
food purchased from the stores that will not contain 
some harmful substance, or active poison ; injurious 
and poisonous compounds will continue to be used in food 
substances, and in the manufacture of wearing apparel, 
drugs, liquors, wall papers, and many other articles, until 
the Legislatures of the States and Congress take hold 
of the subject as has been done with great success 
in Great Britain, France and Germany .—Reprinted from 
the New York Medical Times.