The term "Mad as a Hatter" will forever be associated with the madcap milliner in Lewis Carroll's classic children's book, Alice in Wonderland. But few know that the true origin of the saying relates to a disease peculiar to the hat making industry in the 1800s. A mercury solution was commonly used during the process of turning fur into felt, causing the hatters to breathe in the fumes of this highly toxic metal, a situation exacerbated by the poor ventilation in most of the workshops. This in turn, led to an accumulation of mercury in the worker's bodies, resulting in symptoms such as trembling (known as "hatters' shakes"), loss of coordination, slurred speech, loosening of teeth, memory loss, depression, irritability, and anxiety- "The Mad Hatter Syndrome". The phrase is still used today to describe the effects of mercury poisoning, albeit from other sources.
These days we are infinitely more aware of the deadly toxicity of mercury exposure, yet mercury still remains more common that one might think. Mercury can be found in our cars, homes, food, medicine cabinets - even our mouths.
Common Items That Contain Mercury
To learn more about The Madhatter Syndrome, pick up a copy of my book "Be PerfectlyHealthy" by visiting http://www.perfectlyhealthy.com/ProductDetails.aspx?ProductID=BE-Perfectly-Healthy-Book.