noun[mass noun] Chemistry
A colourless, oily liquid with an unpleasant smell, used as an antidote for poisoning by mercury, arsenic, lead, and other heavy metals.
- Alternative name: 2,3,-dimercapto-1-propanol; chemical formula: CH2(SH)CH(SH)CH2OH
- One type contained the anthrax vaccine and the other contained phials of a drug called dimercaprol, which acts as an antidote to heavy metal poisoning.
- Dimercaprol, or BAL, binds with lead and is excreted in bile and urine.
- Treatment may include the use of chelating agents such as dimercaprol, dimercaptosuccinic acid, and dimercaptopanesulfonic acid.
1940s: from elements of the systematic name (see above).
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