Prepared from wood by destructive distillation and purification. A colorless liquid, with pungent odor and strong acid taste; strength 36 per cent.; the rest water.
Glacial acetic acid has 99 parts acetic acid to 1 of water, and crystallizes at a temperature below 6o°. It is not official.
Has a strength of about 6 per cent.
An organic liquid containing acetic acid. It corre-sponds nearly in strength with the dilute acid. Vinegar is obtained from various vegetables and fruits by a process of fermentation known as the acetous or sour, as distinguished from the vinous fermentation and others.
Acetous fermentation may be induced in all liquids capable of undergoing vinous fermentation.
The best vinegar is made from cider. It is often adulterated with sulphuric acid.
Locally used acetic acid is a caustic. It is best applied with a glass rod or a splinter of wood, and needs to be applied with care to avoid injuring the surrounding parts.
Internally it has a stimulating effect on the appetite and digestion; increases the secretion from the intestines, and the flow of urine. It does not neutralize the alkalinity of the blood, but decomposes there, and combines with part of the alkali of the plasma, forming a carbonate, and in this form passes out of the body, unless given in excess, when the excess escapes unchanged from the kidneys. In the alimentary canal the acid acts directly on its contents, and is given in the form of vinegar as an antidote for poisoning by alkalies.
The symptoms are like those of the mineral acids, and the treatment is the same, consisting in giving alkalies and their carbonates, warm soap-suds, and milk.