the name for an 80-percent aqueous solution of acetic acid used in the food-processing industry. Obtained commercially by acetic-acid fermentation of alcoholic liquids, vinegar essence is used in the production of marinades, canned goods, and table vinegar.
Vinegar-essence poisoning is one of the most frequent domestic poisonings, usually the result of a suicide attempt rather than accidental ingestion. A dose of 30 to 50 ml of 80-percent vinegar essence may be fatal in the absence of immediate aid. The symptoms of poisoning are severe burns of the mucosa of the mouth, pharynx, esophagus, and stomach. The consequences of absorbing vinegar essence are acidosis, hemolysis, hemoglobinuria, and disturbance of coagulation, accompanied by severe gastrointestinal hemorrhage. A significant thickening of the blood because of the loss of plasma through the damaged mucosa is characteristic, which may lead to shock. Dangerous complications include severe renal insufficiency and toxic dystrophy of the liver.
First aid involves drinking large quantities of fluids and inducing vomiting to expel the remains of the vinegar essence. Immediate hospitalization is necessary. In order to prevent accidental poisoning, vinegar essence should be stored in special flasks.
A. G. KISSIN