Merthiolate is a mercury-containing substance that was once widely used as germ-killer and a preservative in many different products, including vaccines.
Merthiolate poisoning occurs when large amounts of the substance are swallowed or come in contact with your skin. Poisoning may also occur if you are exposed to small amounts of merthiolate constantly over a long period of time.
This is for information only and not for use in the treatment or management of an actual poison exposure. If you have an exposure, you should call your local emergency number (such as 911) or the National Poison Control Center at 1-800-222-1222.
The FDA banned the use of merthiolate in over-the-counter products in the late 1990s.
Goldfrank LR, ed. Goldfrank's Toxicologic Emergencies. 8th ed. New York, NY: McGraw Hill; 2006.
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