Lead Poisoning & British Army Training in 1915

Medical, WWIFrank Shufflebotham writing about the 14 cases of lead poisoning he cam across in young men training for the British Army in 1915.

Of the 14 men, 10 were pottery workers, 3 were house painters and 1 was a plumber.

Symptoms started to show from 3-7 weeks after mobilisation or enlistment, and Shufflebotham suggested that the:

“altered conditions of life, especially muscular exercises associated with route marches and physical drill, cause increased metabolism, with the result that lead compounds previously locked up in the organs and muscles of the body become released and reach the blood stream.”


BMJ 1915;1:672


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