One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
A greenish iridescent crystalline compound which dissolves in water to give a red solution used as an antiseptic. It is a fluorescein derivative containing bromine and mercury.
- ‘In that final rule, the agency declared merbromin (and other mercury active ingredients) as not generally recognized as safe and effective as an active ingredient for OTC first aid antiseptic and antimicrobial diaper rash uses.’
- ‘Mercurochrome is the trade name of merbromin antiseptic tinctures made of merbromin and alcohol or water (usually 2% merbromin to 98% alcohol or water).’
- ‘Although more effective than merbromin, thimerosal shares the disadvantage of poor tissue penetration and tissue fixation and therefore has limited bacteriostatic activity.’
1940s: from mercuric + bromo- + -in.
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