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Lead poisoning as possible cause of deaths at the Swedish House at Kapp Thordsen, Spitsbergen, winter 1872-3.
Kjell G Kjaer
Institute of Clinical Medicine, University of Tromsø, Norway. firstname.lastname@example.org
Bone and Bones - chemistry
Cause of Death
Food, Preserved - adverse effects - history
History, 19th Century
Lead - analysis
Lead Poisoning - diagnosis - history
Naval Medicine - history
Occupational Diseases - diagnosis - history
Scurvy - diagnosis - history
To investigate cause of death in 17 sealers who died in the Swedish house in Kapp Thordsen, Spitsbergen, during the winter of 1872-3.
Analysis of skeletal samples from one sealer's grave.
Field trip to Spitsbergen to exhume skeletal remains.
One of 17 sailors who died in 1872-3.
No objective signs of scurvy were found. The concentration of lead in the bone samples was 102.05 microg/g.
The high concentrations of lead indicate that this man died from lead poisoning, probably from food tins. The absence of macroscopic signs of scurvy supports this theory.
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