Adventures in Research: Hidden Health Hazards

From the Fife Herald of Wednesday 21 January, 1885, “Death in the Wall Paper”

The story is about wallpaper of the Victorian era which contained arsenic and lead, used for creating blue and green pigments.  These wallpapers were thought to be the cause of certain accidental deaths.  Near the end of the story, the writer makes this observation:

“If one paid attention to all the alarming discoveries of scientific men, life would not be worth living.  Death threatens us, according to their account, on every side; in the food we eat, the water we drink, and the air we breathe.  Everywhere, there is poison of one kind or another.  A too credulous attention to these advisers would render every one of us a driveling hypochondriac, a nuisance alike to one’s self and one’s neighbours.”

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