Dr. Wiley tests salicylic acid
I e is Reprehensible. I Dr. Wiley reached the conclusion I that salicylic acid and salicylates exert a harmful and depressing influence upon the digestive organs of tho human body. Its use as a preservative for foods, he adds, is reprehensible in every respect, and leads to injury to the consumer, which may be productive of great harm. Dr. Wiley claims there is no necessity for its use as a preservative, as the same result can be accomplished by the use of less objectionable chemicals. Dr. Wiley's investigation indicated that the use of salicylic, acid is followed by a stimulating effect upon the digestive organs, and there !s also an increased appetite. This hunger is only temporary, and is accompanied by a feeling of heaviness and uneasiness in the upper and front portion of the stomach. Tlie use of salicylic acid produced in the members of the poison squad an increase in tlie number of red blood corpuscles, and a slight increase in the white corpuscles. The investigation proved, however, that the intensity of the color of the blood diminishes. After the effects of the acid wear off there is a decrease in the number of both red and white corpuscles. Small Quantities Harmful. Dr. Wiley demonstrates that the use of salicylic acid even in small quantities is not entirely harmless. However, he found that salicylic 'acid' and its compounds is not as harmful as has been supposed, by physicians and scientific men generally. That salicylic acid should be singled out especially for condemnation," he says, "does not seem to be justified by the data which are presented and discussed In this bulletin. That it is a harmful substance, however, 'seems to be well established by the data taken as a whole, but it appears to be a harmful substance of less virulence than has been generally supposed. "The unenviable position which salicylic, acid has heretofore held I among preservatives, in being re garded as tlie most, injurious oi an, Is to a. certain extent undeserved. Like other ordinary preservatives, it is not one which can be classed as a poison, in the usual sense of the w'ord. When used as a medicine, in many cases of derangement of health, it is, like other chemical preservatives, often highly beneficial, when properly prescribed by a physician. It is, when used as food, at first an apparent stimulant, hut it soon loses its stimulating properties and becomes u depressant, tending to break down the tissues of the body more rapidly than thev are built up. "There appears to be no necessity for its use, as food can be preserved in unobjectionable ways without its aid."