Thursday, February 14, 2008

Angels and ministers of grace defend us!

I had a strange memory-flash to my childhood just now, and remembered scraping myself and my mom applying Mercurochrome to the scrape. And then I thought – you know, I haven’t seen Mercurochrome in over 20 years probably. Upon reflection, the last I had even heard of it (and remember noting the reference) was when I saw Rent, and one of the lyrics in “Today 4 U” is “The Nurse Took Him Home For Some Mercurochrome,” and I’m pretty sure that’s because of the rhyme and meter of the word, rather than the probability that Angel would actually have had Mercurochrome at his (her?) place.

Thanks to Google, of course, I found this article by Cecil Adams on “What happened to Mercurochrome?” Apparently, in 1998, the Food and Drug Administration declared that Mercurochrome, generically known as merbromin, was “not generally recognized as safe and effective” as an over-the-counter antiseptic and forbade its sale across state lines. What the hell? I remember it being safe and effective . . . . How did I ever get out of childhood alive?

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