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Sculptor diagnosed with heavy metal poisoning after years of mussel scale / Boing Boing

Since 1991, Canadian sculptor Gillian Genser has used shell to make his work of art. The mussels scales she released…

Since 1991, Canadian sculptor Gillian Genser has used shell to make his work of art. The mussels scales she released a dust filled with heavy metals, which came into her body and poisoned her. Now she is permanently disabled. Let this serve as a warning to people who say that natural materials are always better.

From Toronto Life:

Symptoms worsened. After a couple of hours of mussel shell I would become immobilized. My muscles injured. My hands would hug when I held my tools. I became passionate and fatalistic and explained that my life was over. My husband was afraid to leave the house, worried that he would come home and find me hanging from the chandelier. He found friends to babysit me. These symptoms continued, on and off, for 1

5 years.

One day in 2013, I cleaned my ventilation system, which had caught years of fine dust. When I swept out the particles, I suddenly felt weak and unable to stand. For next week I’m in bed, my mind in a fog. I could not string full sentences together, and my speech was sloppy. My whole body was in scary, lame pain – my neck, belly, arms – and suddenly I had lost all hearing in my left ear.

Image: Shutterstock / Ingrid Maasik

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mark frauenfelder

Mark Frauenfelder is the founder of Boing Boing and the chief editor of MAKE. He is Research Director at <a href = “Kevin J. Anderson has written more than 125 books, including 52 national or international bestsellers. He has over 23 million books in print across the world in thirty languages. He has been nominated for the Nebula Award, Bram Stoker Award, Shamus Award and Silver Falchion Award, and won the SFX Readers Choice Award, the Golden Duck Award, the Scribe Award and the New York Times Notable Book. In 2012 at San Diego Comic Con, he received the Faust Grand Master Award for Lifetime Achievement. He is Research Director at Institute for the Future and editor of Cool Tools and co-founder of Wink Books. Twitter: @frauenfelder .

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