Wednesday, August 17, 2005

Whatever happened to mercurochrome?


The other day I was talking to a friend I said something about mercurochrome, and he had never heard of it. "You know, a bright orange liquid that came in a little brown bottle and you dabbed it on cuts and stuff?" He had no idea what I was talking about. Growing up, my father was a big believer in mercurochrome. It was a staple in the family medicine cabinet, and I recall it being applied to many a scraped knee, but come to think of it, I haven't seen in around in years. Intrigued, I searched the internet and came up with the definition and the fact that it was banned by the FDA in the 1990s because the chemical formula contains mercury. There's even a website run by mercurochromophiles seeking to reverse the FDA ban. Due to the large number of amalgam fillings in my teeth, and exposure to mercurochrome throughout my childhood, I think I'm destined to go mad as a hatter someday.

9 comments:

jerome buttersworth said...

i say put it back on the market! i feel like at least they weren't pulling any punches -- the name implies there's freakin' mercury in it. mercurochrome -- it's got to be at least 33% mercury by my estimates. yeah, 1 part mercury, 1 part chrome and 1 part... ro.

brigita said...

I remember it was mentioned in the BtVS episode where Willow casts a spell to bring Buffy back from the dead and something goes wrong so she has to claw her way out of her coffin and she finally makes it home and her sister Dawn is trying to help her out and Spike sees all the cuts on her hands and empathizes with her because he had to claw his way out of his coffin when he got all undead and says to Dawn get some mercurochrome and bandages.

I always thought that was kinda odd since I hadn't heard mercurochrome mentioned in ages. Now I know why! ;)

Kim said...

I was always a big fan of mercurochrome, especially on paper cuts. Barely anyone I mention it to even knows what it is.

I went on a hunt to find some last year, and now they only sell mercuroCLEAR, which is some sort of clear substandard liquid that is not nearly as effective as mercuroCHROME.

RT said...

You'll hear it at the movies in a few months, because it's used in a lyric from RENT! Remember? When Angel patches up Tom Collins after his mugging. "The nurse took him home / for some mercurochrome..." :)

Anonymous said...

"I think I'm destined to go mad as a hatter someday."

Someday? I think your day has come my friend!!!

Anonymous said...

Iodine works better!

Anonymous said...

That stuff used to BURN!! I remember my mom torturing me and I would be like blow on my boo boo mommy!! I think parents liked it for the reason that we were already hurt and to fix it, they had to hurt us more!! CC

Jessica said...

When I was a kid, my parents called it "Monkey's Blood." Yeah, we knew it wasn't really blood.
Anyway, I saw the Mercuroclear stuff when I went looking for first aid spray today. I noticed that the ingredients in the Mercuroclear and Bactine are the same, but I didn't take note of whether or not the concentrations were the same.

Mike1951 said...

I had completely forgotten about it being called 'monkey blood'!!

I too, tried to find mercurochrome and instead bought mercuroclear and iodine.

Mercurochrome was painless. Perhaps Anonymous was confusing it with iodine. Iodine not only burns, it destroys tissue if enough is used. I saturated a bandage with it and left it applied for a day. Big mistake!!

I'm reading this years after original post. mercurochrome.org appears to be gone. I would order it from outside the US if it were possible. At 59, it's a little late to worry about the mercury in it.