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IUPAC name dibromohydroxymercurifluorescein
CAS number 129-16-8
EINECS number 204-933-6
Molecular formula C20H8Br2HgNa2O6
Molar mass 804.75 g/mol
Appearance dark green solid
Main hazards Toxic, dangerous for the environment
R-phrases R26 R27 R28 R33 R50 R53
S-phrases S13 S28 S36 S45 S60 S61
Except where noted otherwise, data are given for
materials in their standard state
(at 25 °C, 100 kPa)

Infobox disclaimer and references

Merbromin (marketed as Mercurochrome, Merbromine, Sodium mercurescein, Asceptichrome, Supercrome and Cinfacromin) is a topical antiseptic used for minor cuts and scrapes. It is no longer sold in the USA because of its mercury content. Merbromin is an organomercuric disodium salt compound and a fluorescein.



Merbromin's best-known use is as a topical antiseptic, however it, along with Merthiolate, has been ruled ineffective by the FDA, and is no longer approved. When applied on a wound, the dark red colour stains the skin, making the detection of any erythema or inflammation, indicative of infection, more difficult. Merbromin is also used as a biological dye used to mark tissue margins, and as a metal dye in industrial dye penetrant inspection to detect metal fractures.

Mercurochrome & Tinctures

Mercurochrome is the trade name of merbromin and (usually) of merbromin tinctures made of merbromin and alcohol or water (usually 2% merbromin to 98% alcohol or water).

Its antiseptic qualities were discovered by Johns Hopkins doctor Hugh H. Young in 1919. The chemical soon became popular among parents and doctors for everyday antiseptic uses and it was very commonly used for minor injuries in the schoolyard. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) removed it from the "generally recognized as safe" and into the 'untested' classification to effectively halt its distribution in the United States in 1998 over fears of potential mercury poisoning. It is readily available in most other countries.

This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Merbromin". A list of authors is available in Wikipedia.
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