oxalic acid

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An extremely poisonous acid, C2H2O4. It is a component of some bleaching powders and is found in many plants, including sorrel and the leaves of rhubarb. Oxalic acid is a powerful local irritant; when swallowed it produces burning sensations in the mouth and throat, vomiting of blood, breathing difficulties, and circulatory collapse. Treatment is with calcium lactate or other calcium salts, lime water, or milk.

Subjects: Medicine and Health.

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