Once the harmful effects of lead were evidenced in working populations, it took little to understand its non-occupational toxicity. The use of wine preservatives derived from the ancient sapa had persisted until the seventeenth century and it was a cause of recurring collective poisoning in some European areas. During that period, sudden outbreaks of saturnine colic periodically hit the French region of Poitou (Colica Pictonum) and some areas of the English countryside (the Devonshire Colic among cider drinkers). This intensely painful and debilitating disease, which frequently ended in death, was first described by Francis Citois (1572-1652) in 1639. During an epidemic of the “Colica Pictonum” in Ulm, the largest wine-trading center in Germany, Eberhard Gockel (1636-1703), one of the doctors of the city, gave forth his observations in “De vini acidi per acetum lithargyri cum maximo bibentium damno dulcificatione” (1697) or, he held the lead level in wine responsible for the clinical manifestation. For the first time in history, the consideration of the exposure to the metal was not only limited to an occupational concern, it was extended to the general population as well.
The epidemics of saturnine colic that occurred during the 17th century provided evidence for the acute effects of ingestion of this metal, even though some physicians did not initially acknowledge the etiology. For example, an epidemic of “Devonshire colic” lasted for many decades before being diagnosed as lead poisoning by Sir George Baker (1722-1809) in 1767, 70 years after the first acknowledgment by Gockel. Only during the beginning of the 19th century have scientists clearly understood the mechanisms of lead poisoning by dietary intake. In his “A Complete System of Medical Policy,” the German hygienist Johann Peter Frank (1745-1821) had suggested avoiding water that flows in pipes of lead, reporting some cases of saturnine colic observed by him and other physicians.
In 1713, Italian physician Bernardinus Ramazzini described in his De Morbis Artificum Diatriba a mysterious set of symptoms he was noticing among artists:
“The business of a Painter or Varnisher is generally, and not without reason, considered an unhealthy one.”
“Of the many painters I have known, almost all I found unhealthy … If we search for the cause of the cachectic and colorless appearance of the painters, as well as the melancholy feelings that they are so often victims of, we should look no further than the harmful nature of the pigments…”
Kicked Out of Heaven Vol. II
Paperback Now in Color $90.00
The Untold History of The White Races cir. 700 – 1700 a.d.
666 pgs + 196 pix = 1,000s of FACTS!
Kicked Out Of Heaven Vol. II: The Untold History of The White Races cir. 700-1700 a.d. is a 3 volume series that will be released one by one. This book details everything about European society and mentality. In this edition you will find these facts: Alcoholism & The Blue Devils, Insanity & Lead Poisoning, Ergot (LSD) Hallucinations, The Sweating Sickness & Leprosy, The Tobacco Enema & Leeches, The Defloration Mania, The Dancing Mania, The Black Death, The Gravediggers & Body Snatchers, Jews Poisoning the Wells, Millions of Deaths, Folklore & Superstition, Magic Mirrors & Crystal Balls, Witches Dancing in Baby Blood, Pants Made of Human Skin, Necromancy & Ghost Armies, Attacks from The Undead, Lycanthropy & Were-Wolves, Multiple Cases of Vampires, Who is Satan, Lucifer & The Devil!
CNN: Paris residents urged to screen for lead after Notre Dame fire.