Patients who ingest a heavy metal
may complain of cramps, nausea,
vomiting, diarrhea, stomach pain, headache, sweating,
in the mouth. Mercury can
if it has touched the skin, and inhaled mercury
severe inflammation of the lungs. If lead is inhaled in the
form of lead dust,
, headache, mania, and convulsions may occur. In
severe cases of heavy metal poisoning, patients exhibit
obvious impairment of cognitive, motor, and language skills.
The expression "mad as a hatter" comes from the mercury
poisoning prevalent in seventeenth-century France among
hatmakers who soaked animal hides in a solution of
mercuric nitrate to soften the hair.