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Coal Tar Products

(Color plate, Figs, d and f, Page 116)

Outline of the section: Read more about how use of coal tar products is shown in the iris.

Signs in the Iris:

Antikamnia produces in the upper part of the iris a greyish white veil which looks like a thin coat of whitewash. (Color plate, figs, d and f.) Antifebrin, antipyrin and phenacetin produce a pigmentation proceeding from the sympathetic wreath outward, in color ranging from gray to light yellow.

Creosote and guaiacol, which are used extensively as germ killers in tuberculosis and other germ diseases, produce a greyish or ashen veil over the entire iris. (Color plate, Figs, a and b.) In Europe the utter uselessness of these agents and their destructive effects have been fully recognized and they have been practically abandoned. In this country, however, these poisons are still widely used. The same holds true of antitoxin and tuberculin. These serums also have been practically abandoned by the most advanced European physicians, while here they are rather gaining in popularity with the medical profession.

Even "harmless" germ killers, if such there be, will never prove a cure for tuberculosis, because the tubercular bacillus is the product of the disease, not its cause. It grows in morbid and decayed lung tissue only.

The only way to prevent the growth and multiplication of the dreaded bacilli or their microzyma is to remove from the system the morbid and scrofulous soil in which they thrive. Elimination, not "germ killing", is the cure. Every germ killer is a protoplasmic poison, and that which weakens and kills the protoplasm of bacteria and parasites also weakens and kills the protoplasm of the normal cells of the human body.

During the last thirty years coal tar preparations have become very popular as pain-killers and hypnotics. Antipyrin, antifebrin, phenacetin, antikamnia, triasol and dozens of other preparations are obtained by the distillation of coal tar. All of these agents are highly poisonous and have a depressing and paralyzing effect on the brain, heart and respiratory centers. The use of these agents in the form of doctor's prescriptions, headache powders, nerve soothers, and hypnotics accounts for the increase in heart disease and insanity much more than does the "strenuous life". The stimulating and soothing effect of many of the popular soft drinks, such as coca cola and bromo seltzer, is due to poisonous stimulants, hypnotics or narcotics.

A few years ago Dr. Wiley, the government chemist, exhibited at the St. Louis exposition a flag of the United States which had been colored by anilin dyes extracted from canned goods. His investigations and laboratory experiments proved that most of the foods sold in grocery stores were adulterated not only with cheap ingredients, but also with poisonous coloring materials and antiseptics, most of which were found to be coal tar preparations.

In our modern artificial life people absorb poisons in many ways which they never suspect.

Insanity and Paralysis Caused by Antikamnia

Ten years ago a patient called me up on the telephone and asked me to come to her house immediately. On arriving there I was asked to examine a woman who was sitting in a chair before us. The upper part of the iris in both eyes was covered with a greyish veil looking somewhat like whitewash. (Color plate, Fig. f, page 116.)

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