When a sculptor in Toronto began to feel sick in 2013, she had no idea that her art was the…
When a sculptor in Toronto began to feel sick in 2013, she had no idea that her art was the reason. Sculptor Gillian Genser had used blue scales in his sculptures for the past 15 years and, as a result, poisoned himself.
Skylden? Heavy metals, including arsenic and lead, found in mussels. In a moving personal essay published November 28th in Toronto Life, Genser described the appearance of her symptoms – which began with agitation, headache and vomiting, and later developed into symptoms such as hearing loss in a ear and short-term memory problems. It took two years – for physicians to nail the diagnosis of heavy metal poisoning.
Sweater did not actually write until she visited the Royal Ontario Museum in Toronto and talked to a curator of invertebrates that she put together. The curator told the Sweater that toxins can be built in the shields of invertebrates, which led her to investigate blue clams. As Live Science has reported previously, chemicals accumulate in mussels as they filter food, making them good water-barometric barometers.
Sweater wrote that in her case the clams she worked with were probably hardened from water contaminated by industrial waste. After 1
5 years of working with the mussels, she had built up high arsenic levels and lead in her blood. She will “never completely recover” and continues to live with many symptoms, she wrote. But she continued to complete her musical sculpture, a depiction of the biblical Adam, in 2015. She calls him his “beautiful death”.
Heavy metal poisoning occurs when too much of a heavy metal accumulates in a person’s body, according to the National Organization for Rare Disorders (NORD). At high levels, heavy metals can replace certain minerals in a variety of processes in the body, which can have harmful effects.
The symptoms of heavy metal poisoning may vary depending on the metals involved, according to NORD. Both arsenic and lead poisoning cause a wide range of symptoms and can be life threatening. Arsenic poisoning can, for example, cause symptoms such as headache, sleepiness, confusion and seizures, as well as intestinal problems. Lead poisoning in adults can cause symptoms such as hypertension, muscle weakness and nerve pain.
Originally published on Live Science .