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The New York Times May 25, 1913, Section III Page 6
Proper Packing Might Lessen the Number of Accidents.

To the Editor of The New York Times:

Again the country is appalled at the news of the death of a prominent citizen through the accidental taking of poison. These occurrences are so frequent that they excite but passing notice, except when some person of note is the victim. Inasmuch as it is so easy to obtain poisons such as iodine, prussic acid, carbolic acid, bichloride of mercury, and many others, is it not time that some genuine effort be made by the medical societies or even the Government to make these mistakes impossible or nearly so?

Most accidents are apparently caused by taking a dose of poison in the dark or while half awake or else when beset by pain. Now if these various poisons were packed in a manner unlike medicine, so that some mental or physical effort would be required before use, many accidents would be prevented. For instance, tablets, powders, &c., of a poisonous nature could be packed in capsules, packages, or cartons which would have to be broken in order to use. The matter of cost would hardly be a factor, for do they not wrap chewing gum in individual packages at 5 cents the package? If the capsules were made of a gelatine so heavy that it would require hot water or at least five minutes before dissolution in the stomach, such fatalities as that of Mr. Walker could be averted.

Bayonne, N.J. May 23, 1913.

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