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Sale of Poisons

poison, name, included, preparations and seller

POISONS, SALE OF The following statement is due to E. J. Wall, and is reprinted from the Photographic Dealer. According to the Pharmacy Act, 1868, it is illegal for any person not being a duly registered pharmaceutical chemist or chemist and druggist, to sell certain chemicals and substances, which are included in a schedule, this being divided into two parts. In the first part are included those substances which can only be sold when the purchaser is known to the seller, or is introduced by some person known to the seller, who must enter the date of sale, name and address of purchaser, name and quantity of article, purpose for which it is re quired, which must be attested by the purchaser's signature ; and the parcel or vessel must be labelled with the name of_ article, the word " Poison," and the name and address of the seller. For those articles included in Part z of the schedule only the three last requirements have to be fulfilled. There are really very few photographic chemicals included in the schedule, and not any that are used in considerable quantities. Corrosive sublimate, mercuric per chloride or mercuric chloride, is included in Part i. " Cyanide of potassium and all metallic cyanides and their preparations " is another item in Part i. It is an open question whether this term may not be strictly held to include the ferri-, ferro-, and sulpho-cyanides ; as a matter of fact, however, it is held that these preparations are not to be classed as scheduled poisons. Part 2 includes preparations of mer curic chloride ; therefore any intensifier contain ing this cannot be sold except by a registered chemist. It also includes oxalic acid, which is but rarely used, and mercuric iodide and sul phocyanide.

Under the Poisons and Pharmacy Bill, r9o8, Section 5 states, "It shall not be lawful to sell any poison to which this section applies by retail, unless the box, bottle, vessel, wrapper or cover in which the poison is contained is dis tinctly labelled with the name of the substance and the word ' Poison,' and with the name and address of the seller of the poison." The poisons here enumerated are sulphuric, nitric, and hydrochloric acids, and the soluble salts of oxalic acid. Presumably this would include even the dilute acids, although no differentia tion as to strength is made. " Soluble salts of oxalic acid " naturally includes neutral potassium oxalate, and the oxalates of ammonium, sodium, and iron, also presumably potassium ferric oxalate and all preparations in which these may be contained. It will be seen that really there are very few scheduled poisons used in photography, but it must not be forgotten that there are many chemicals which are poisonous beyond these, and it would be as well to label as " Poison " all ferro-, ferri-, and sulpho cyanides, bichromates, pyro, and all prepara tions of copper, uranium and cerium. If this is thought too drastic, then at least a warning label should be devised, somewhat on the following lines, " Care should be exercised in the use and storing of this chemical, as when taken internally it is poisonous." There is no difficulty in a firm of dry plate makers, etc., selling a poison to a wholesale house so long as it is marked " Poison." The Act only applies to sale to the public.