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Vet Hum Toxicol. 1991 Oct;33(5):425-7.

A simple test for mothball component differentiation using water and a saturated solution of table salt: its utilization for poison information service.

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  • 1Institute of Clinical Medicine, University of Tsukuba, Ibaraki, Japan.


All 651 cases of mothball ingestion received by a poison information center were studied. At each time of inquiry, the staff member asked the caller to test whether the mothball floated or sank in water and a saturated solution of table salt. With the results of the test the staff member identified the mothball ingredient. Though most of the callers were housewives with little knowledge of medicine, the differentiations were each completed within 5 min. Later, gas chromatographic analyses revealed that no errors in differentiations had been made. Our method proved a quick preliminary test for mothball component differentiation in poison information service.

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