Saturday, February 10, 2007

Mercury Poisoning Takes a Morbid Turn

When I was growing up, we had mercury thermometers. They were made of glass and they were fragile. So they would occasionally break. And when they did, Mom usually dumped out the mercury into a bowl so we could play with it. Little did she know that doing so would subject me to mercury poisoning and turn me into an obsessive-compulsive curmudgeon blogger.

So it's a good thing that I didn't become a mortician, or I might have turned out like Ray Brent Marsh. Marsh, a crematory operator from Ringgold, GA. Marsh admitted to leaving 334 bodies to rot in piles across his property and passing off cement dust as their ashes.

But wait! It's not really Marsh's fault. Lawyer McCracken Poston said he believes Marsh was suffering the effects of long-term exposure to mercury vapors from a poorly built ventilation system at the Tri-State Crematory in northwest Georgia. He said Marsh's behavior, as well as health problems suffered by his late father, crematory founder Ray Marsh, match the effects of exposure to mercury vapors caused by burning dental fillings during cremation. Many dental fillings are made of a compound that includes mercury.

A test on Marsh's hair in 2004 indicated elevated mercury, Poston said.

Maybe I'd better get my hair tested. There's got to be some excuse for this blog...

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