Frederick Accum, German chemist

Frederick Accum, German chemist

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Credit: SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Frederick Accum. Portrait of the German chemist and food safety campaigner Frederick Christian Accum (1769-1838). He worked in London, UK, where he sold scientific equipment and also wrote his Treatise on Adulterations of Food (London, 1820). This best-seller listed druggists and grocers that adulterated their products with toxic chemicals. Practices included colouring pickles with copper, sweets with mercury sulphide and lead oxide, lead being added to wine, alum to bread and copper to tea. The impact of his book led to Accum being driven out of the UK. He moved to Berlin, Germany, in 1822.

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