Though she was wearing protective gloves, the gloves weren’t enough to stop the effects of the poisoning- which took months. It was in August of 1996 when she was studying mercury ions and a few drops of the mercury compound fell on her glove. Everything seemed to be okay until January of the next year, when the symptoms were finally detected. She was taken to the hospital where it was discovered that her blood mercury level was 80 times the toxic level.
Unfortunately, so late after the accident, there was no way to reverse the poisoning. She soon went into a bizarre coma where she was crying and thrashing about constantly. She stayed that way for a few months until she was taken off life support in June 1997. It turns out that dimethylmercury is capable of entering the skin in about 15 seconds. The symptoms that appear about five months [after exposure] include loss of balance and slurred speech, as a result of mercury intoxication.
- More than dozen people exposed to mercury in Iowa (thegazette.com)
- More Than a Dozen Exposed to Mercury in Iowa (kcrg.com)
- Keep safeguards to end mercury poisoning (cnn.com)
- Mercury Fillings May Cause Breast Cancer (sott.net)
- Beauty Byte: Minnesota Bans Mercury in Makeup (bellasugar.com)
- Power Plant Mercury Emissions Poisoning the Great Lakes (thinkprogress.org)
- MPIRG Applauds EPA’s New Mercury Rule (mpirg.wordpress.com)
- House bill seeks to protect consumers from mercury poisoning (newsinfo.inquirer.net)