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Sculptor unknowingly poisons herself with her own art



When a sculptor in Toronto felt ill in 2013, she had no idea that her art was the cause. The sculptor Gillian Genser had used mussel shells in his sculptures in the last 15 years, poisoning himself unknowingly.

The culprit? Heavy metals, including arsenic and lead in the clam shells. In a moving personal essay published on November 28 in Toronto Life, Genser described the onset of her symptoms – which began with agitation, headache, and vomiting and later led to symptoms such as hearing loss in one ear and short-term memory problems. It took two years for the doctors to pinpoint the diagnosis of heavy metal poisoning.

In fact, Genser wrote, only when she visited the Royal Ontario Museum in Toronto and spoke to a curator of Invertebrates did she piece these pieces together. The curator told Genser that toxins might accumulate in the shells of invertebrates, causing her to research blue shells. As Live Science has already reported, chemicals accumulate in mussels as they filter feed, making them good barometers for water pollutants.

Genser wrote that the shells she had worked with probably came from water contaminated with industrial waste. After 1

5 years working with the shells, she had built up arsenic and lead in her blood. She will never "fully recover" and continues to live with many symptoms, she wrote. However, in 2015 she completed her shell sculpture, a representation of the biblical Adam. She calls him her "beautiful death"

Heavy metal poisoning occurs when too much heavy metal accumulates in a person's body according to the National Organization for Rare Disorders (NORD). In high concentrations, heavy metals can replace certain minerals in various processes in the body, which can have harmful effects.

The symptoms of heavy metal poisoning can vary depending on the metals involved, depending on the metals involved. Arsenic and lead poisoning cause a variety of symptoms and can be life-threatening. For example, arsenic poisoning can lead to symptoms such as headache, dizziness, confusion and seizures, and bowel problems. Adult lead poisoning can lead to symptoms such as high blood pressure, muscle weakness and nerve pain.

Originally published on Live Science .


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