This section is from the book "A Text-Book Of Pharmacology, Therapeutics And Materia Medica", by T. Lauder Brunton. Also available from Amazon: A text-book of pharmacology, therapeutics and materia medica.
Bromine, B. and U.S.P. A liquid non-metallic element obtained from sea-water and from some saline springs.
Preparation. - Vide p. 548.
Impurity. - Iodine.
Test. - When agitated with sufficient soda to render the fluid very slightly alkaline, it forms a colourless liquid, which, if coloured by a further addition of a little bromine, does not become blue on the subsequent addition of a cold solution of starch. B.P. (absence of iodine).
If an aqueous solution of bromine be poured upon reduced iron and shaken with the latter until it has become nearly colourless, then filtered, mixed with gelatinised starch, and a few drops of bromine solution be now carefully poured on the top, not more than a very faint blue zone should appear at the line of contact of the two liquids (limit of iodine), U.S.P.
Uses. - Bromine, although a powerful disinfectant, is not much used, on account of its exceedingly foetid and disagreeable smell. It is a powerful irritant, and when inhaled without sufficient dilution with air will produce pneumonia. Taken in small doses, for a length of time, it has produced mental depression, drowsiness, and stupidity. It is sometimes used as a caustic to the os uteri, and from its deodorising and antiseptic action it is especially useful where there is a foetid discharge. It is used internally in the form of its potassium, sodium, ammonium, calcium, and zinc salts, and of hydrobromic acid, which do not possess its powerfully irritant local action.