One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
A colorless, oily liquid with an unpleasant smell, used as an antidote for poisoning by mercury, arsenic, lead, and other heavy metals.
Alternative name: 2,3,-dimercapto-1-propanol; chemical formula: CH₂(SH)CH(SH)CH₂OH
- ‘Treatment may include the use of chelating agents such as dimercaprol, dimercaptosuccinic acid, and dimercaptopanesulfonic acid.’
- ‘Dimercaprol, or BAL, binds with lead and is excreted in bile and urine.’
- ‘One type contained the anthrax vaccine and the other contained phials of a drug called dimercaprol, which acts as an antidote to heavy metal poisoning.’
1940s: from elements of the systematic name (see above).
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