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Is Alum Poisonous?

Is Alum Poisonous? image
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(.Hali's Journal of Health.] "This question has caused a good deal of discussion. Alum is used by many bakers to whiten their bread, enabling thern to use an inferior rtour. It is most extensively ernployed as a cheap substitute for cream of tartar in the manufacture of baking powders. It bas not been considered immediately dangerous, although if continued it induces dyspepsia and obstinate constipation. But the fact that many cases of poisoning have occurred from the use of alum, puts the question in a more serious aspect, and prudent people will exercise caution in the selection of baking powders. "Under what conditions then does this substance- formerjy used only for mechanical or medicinal purposes - become poisonous ? They are certainly obscure, and at present we eau only surmise what they may be. We suspect that the cause exists in the ndual poisoned; some pecuhanty ot ;he constitution producing a inorbid 3hange in thecseeretions of the stomich, with which the alum combines snd forms an active poison; or the secretions may be healthy but in unusual proportions, and that these less or greater proportions in cornbination with the alum constitute a poison. "For example, two parts of mercury and two parts of chlorine form calomel, which is not poisonous, but change the proportions to one part mercury and two parts of chlorine, and we get corrosive sublímate, which is a deadly poison. "Then again, we know nothing of the constitutional peculiarities. Why is it that one person can eat all kinds of green fruits and vegetables with impunity, while the same course might cost another individual his life? One person can handle poison ivy and sumach without being the least arïected; another is poisoned if he approaches to within ten f eet of them. Out of a f amily residing in a malarial district, some of the rnembers will suffer half the year with f e ver and ague, while the öthers will enjoy excellent health during the entire year. Foods that are wholesome to some persons are actually poisonous to others. This is especially true of some kinds of fish. ïhere is no safety in taking alum into the stomach, as it is shown to be always injiuious, and often dangerous.' The Scientific American published in a recent number a list of alum and immonia baking powders, which is of jreat value at this time. Following is the list compiled from official reports. Powders marked with a star seem to have a general sale, as they are menbioned in at least two of the official ceports. atlantic & pacific. royal. cook's favorite, scioto, crown, silver spoon, crystal. silver star, daist, snowdrift, davis' o. k. sovereign, dry yeast, star, gkm, state, GLOBE, STANDARD, KENTOX, 80NFLOWER, PEARSON'S, WASHINGTON, PERFECTION, ■VTINDSOR, PEERLESS, ZIPP'S GRAPE, PÜRITY, CRYSTAL. There are, in addition to the foregoing list from the Scientific American a number of such powders sold ín the western that were not found in the easteru stores. Following is the list to date : CALUMET, - - Containa Alum (Calumet Baking Powder Co., Chioag-o.) FOREST CITY, - Contains Ammonia Alum (Vouwie Bros., Cleveland.) CHICAGO YEAST, Coutains Ammonia Alum (Chapman, Smith & Co., Chicago.) BON BON, - - Contains Alum HOTEL, - Contains Ammonia Alum (J. C. Grant Baking Powder Co., Chicago.) UNRIVALED, - - Containa Alum (Spragrues, Warner & Griswold, Chicago.) ONE SPOON. TAYLOR'S, Ammonia, Alum (Taylor Mfg. Co., St. Louis.) YARNALL'S, - - Contains Alum (Yarnall Mfg. Co., St. Louis.) SHAW'S SNOW PCFF, - Contains Alum (Merchants' Mfg. Association, St. Louis.) DODSON & HILS, - - Contains Alum (Dodson & Hils, St. Louis.) SHEPARD'S, - Contains Ammonia Alum (Wm. H. Shepard, St. Louis.) BAIN'S - - - Contains Alum (Meyer-Bain Mfjr. Co., St. Louis.) MONAKCH, - Contains Ammonia Alum (Beid, Murdoch & Co., Chicago,) SNOW BALL, - - Contains Alum (Bengal Coffee & Spice Mills, Chicago.) GIANT - - - Contains Alum MILK ' - - - " Contains Alum (W. F. McLaughlin & Co , Chicago.) ECHO - - - Contains Alum (Spencer Bluinjr Paddie Co„ Chicago.) KALBFELL'S PUKITY, - Contaius Alum (Kalbfell Mfg. Co., Chicago.) RISING SUN, - - Contains Ammonia (Phoenix Chemical Works, Chicago.) WHITE ROSE, - Contains Ammonia Alum (Globe Coffee & Spice Mills, Minneapolis.) WOOD'S ACME. - Contains Ammonia (Thos. Wood & Co., Philadelphia.) ANDREWS' PEARL, - Contains Ammonia (C. E. Andrews & Co., Milwaukee.) HAKRIES' FAVORITE, - Contains Alum (H. H. Harries, Minneapolis.) FIDELITY, - - - Contains Alum SOLAR, - - - Contains Alum (Sherman Bros., Chicago.) PUTNAM'S BEST, - ■ Contains Alum (Wells Putnam & Co., Chicago.) CHINA 'T' HOUSE. - Contains Alum (Noah McDowell, St.Paul, Minn.) TVIN CITY, - Contains Alum (J. K. Fcrguson, Minneapelis, Minn.) HERCULES, - - Contains Ammonia (Hercules Baking Powder Co., San Francisco.! CLTMAX, - - Contains AmmonÍa (Climax Baking Powder Co., Indianapolis JudgeBabbitt, county agent Greene and the poor superintendants iuspected the county jail, Monday. They found 19 prisoners there. In the past quarter 200 prisoners have been confined in the jail charged with crimes as follows: Vagrancy 22, drnnk 74, larceny 22, adultery 1, drunk and disorderly 3, suspicion 1, dlsorderly 34, assault and battery 7, stealing ride on train 2, assault 4, attempted murder 1, truancy 3, insane 2, forgery 3, rape 2, assault to do great bodily harm 1, resisting offlcer 6, incest 1, violating liquor law 3, burglary 1, train wreek ing 6, jumping board bill 1.