Mercurochrome (merbromin)

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Date:Tue, 5 Oct 1999 11:28:07 EDT
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Patti Bourassa at Pfizer at Groton [which Groton?] asks:

<<I'm looking for a source for mecurichrom dye (spelling??) -- I've never 
used it and this procedure I'm working with calls for labeling the tissue 
with this dye for orientation purposes.>>

Mercurochrome is the trade name of merbromin (no C.I. number), a dye related 
to eosin and fluorescein. It contains 26% mercury, and it should not be in 
your laboratory. (see R.D. Lillie's _H.J. Conn's Biological Stains_, ninth 
[and last] ed. 1977.)

If you need to mark tissue for orientation purposes, use india ink, or if you 
need more than one color, specialized marking inks such as the Davidson inks 
(used by most surgical pathologists).

Mercurochrome is a traditional skin antiseptic, daubed on children's cuts and 
scrapes by worried mothers fifty or sixty years ago. It has long since been 
replaced for this purpose by whatever they're advertising this week on TV. 
Here in east Tennessee, where there are still a few upland coves without 
television, Mercurochrome is still offered by a local patent medicine 
manufacturer, and I know a surgical pathology laboratory that uses it (OSHA 
doesn't know that Tennessee rejoined the Union in 1865). I think I've got the 
address in my files, but I'd rather not promote it!

Bob Richmond
Samurai Pathologist
Knoxville TN

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