Good ol' Mecurochrome. That was THE go to for cuts and scrapes. I grew up pretty much pink. But where is it? Has it been banned?


It's not officially banned, but sorta. I had to find this picture of the stuff on Ebay

You see the Mecuro in Mecurochrome stood for mercury. There is some mercury in this antibacterial antiseptic. So, when we started realizing that mercury was bad - the FDA reclassified mecurochrome as a new drug which made it have to be tested. Expensive testing. According to Index Journal:

In 1978, the FDA began a review of mercury-containing, over-the-counter products. In general, FDA approval requires studies to be done to show a product is safe. This had never been done with Mercurochrome.

Even though Mercurochrome had just a small amount of mercury, mercury poisoning was a consideration. (You may recall the recent FDA advisory that warned pregnant women and young children not to eat certain fish because of high mercury levels.) To affect testing, the FDA pulled the GRAS status and classified mercurochrome as a "new drug" in 1998, which meant that anyone wanting to sell it nationwide had to put it through the rigorous and costly approval process. No one did, and the FDA forbade the sale of Mercurochrome across state lines, which effectively killed the product.


I remember growing up, they even had this stuff at school. When a kid fell down, he came back all pinked up! Was I the only kid with pink knees for years?



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