Mad about Mad Hatter Disease

Mad about Mad Hatter Disease

“Mad as a hatter” In 18th and 19th century England, mercury was used in the production of felt.  Felt was used in the manufacture of hats. People who worked in hat factories were exposed daily to trace amounts of the metal that accumulated within their bodies. Some workers developed dementia caused by mercury poisoning.

“Mad as a hatter” In 18th and 19th century England, mercury was used in the production of felt. Felt was used in the manufacture of hats. People who worked in hat factories were exposed daily to trace amounts of the metal that accumulated within their bodies. Some workers developed dementia caused by mercury poisoning.

A Victorian Millinery Catalogue from 1896.  Mad hatter disease, or mad hatter syndrome, is a commonly used name for hatmakers whose felting work involved prolonged exposure to mercury vapours.  By the turn of the 20th century, mercury poisoning among British hatters had become  quite rare.

A Victorian Millinery Catalogue from 1896. Mad hatter disease, or mad hatter syndrome, is a commonly used name for hatmakers whose felting work involved prolonged exposure to mercury vapours. By the turn of the 20th century, mercury poisoning among British hatters had become quite rare.

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