Potassium arsenite solution

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Description

A toxic, aqueous solution of soluble arsenic. Potassium arsenite solution, or Fowler's solution, was made by boiling arsenic trioxide (10g) in a solution of potassium bicarbonate (7.6 g) in water (1 liter). Thirty milliliters of ethanol were also added. Fowler's solution was used medicinally (coughs, emphysema, skin diseases) and as an insecticide in the 19th century.

Synonyms and Related Terms

Fowler's solution; arsenical solution

Hazards and Safety

Toxic by ingestion. Skin contact causes irritation

Additional Information

L. Goldberg, A History Of Pest Control Measures In The Anthropology Collections, National Museum Of Natural History, Smithsonian Institution, JAIC (35):23-43, 1996

Sources Checked for Data in Record

  • Thomas Gregory, The Condensed Chemical Dictionary, Reinhold Publishing, New York, 3rd ed., 1942
  • The Merck Index, Martha Windholz (ed.), Merck Research Labs, Rahway NJ, 10th edition, 1983 Comment: entry 7769