TIL During the 18th to 20th centuries, hat makers used mercury to stiffen felt for hats. Over time, the hatters inhaled mercury vapors. Many developed symptoms of chronic mercury poisoning, including psychosis, excitability, and tremors. Thus birthing the phrase “mad as a hatter”.

Read more: https://www.healthline.com/health/mad-hatter-disease#in-history

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  1. It’s worth noting that the illness was from the compound mercury nitrate. Metallic mercury is somewhat dangerous, but not nearly so much as some of the water soluble compounds of it. And the organic compounds are nightmarishly dangerous.

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