larsendt Thread

The story of Karen Wetterhahn:

Essentially, she was a chemistry professor at Dartmouth. She was working with an organic mercury compound that was relatively unknown at the time. A drop spilled on her gloved hand. No big deal usually. Turns out dimethylmercury penetrates latex gloves really quickly, and a drop on the hand is a death sentence. She slipped into a coma about 6 months later and then died.

The really terrifying part is the description of her coma (from Wikipedia).

"One of her former students described it as not being "... the kind of coma I'd expected... She was thrashing about. Her husband saw tears rolling down her face. I asked if she was in pain. The doctors said it didn't appear that her brain could even register pain."

Fucking. Terrifying.

I am so glad I'm not a chemist. Computers are friendly.