=Sulphuric Acid=, or oil of vitriol, may be concentrated or diluted. It
is frequently thrown over the person to disfigure the features or
destroy the clothes. Parts of the body touched by it are stained, first
white, and then dark brown or black. The presence of corrosion of the
mouth is as important as the chemical tests. Black woollen cloths are
turned to a dirty brown, the edges of the spots becoming red in a few
s, due to the dilution of the acid from the absorption of moisture;
the stains remain damp for long, owing to the hygroscopic property of
Method of Extraction from the Stomach.--The contents of the stomach or
vomited matter should, if necessary, be diluted with pure distilled
water and filtered. The stomach should be cut up into small pieces and
boiled for some time in water. The solution, filtered and concentrated,
is now ready for testing. Blood, milk, etc., may be separated by
dialysis, and the fluid so obtained tested. A sulphate may be present.
Take a portion of the liquid, evaporate to dryness, and incinerate; a
sulphate, if present, will be obtained, and may be tested.
Caution.--Sulphuric acid may not be found even after large doses, due
to treatment, vomiting, or survival for several days. In all cases every
organ should be examined. Vomited matters and contents of stomach should
not be mixed, but each separately examined. This rule holds good for
all poisons. On cloth the stain may be cut out, boiled in water, the
solution filtered, and tested with blue litmus and other tests.
Post-Mortem Appearances.--Where the acid has come in contact with the
mucous membranes there are dark brown or black patches. The stomach is
greatly contracted, the summits of the mucous membrane ridges being
charred and the furrows greatly inflamed; the contents are black or
Tests.--Concentrated acid chars organic matter; evolves heat when
added to water, and sulphurous fumes when boiled with chips of wood,
copper cuttings, or mercury. Dilute acid chars paper when the paper is
heated; gives a white precipitate with nitrate or chloride of barium,
and is entirely volatilized by heat. Dilute solutions give a white
precipitate with barium nitrate, insoluble in hydrochloric acid even on
Fatal Dose.--In an adult, 1 drachm.
Fatal Period.--Shortest, three-quarters of an hour; average period
from onset of primary effects, eighteen to twenty-four hours.