Poisoning due to lead has been known since before the pre-Hippocratic era. The custom of using vessels made of lead for purposes of storing and preparing wines was probably the greatest contributing factor in the causation of this disease in early times. The ancient Greeks and Romans not only used lead containers for their wines, but also added a piece of lead for purposes of preservation.
The general subject of lead poisoning was admirably dealt with in the classic work of Tanquerel,1 published in 1839, and in numerous other monographs and texts of more recent date.
In 1572, there was an epidemic of lead poisoning in the south of France which closely resembled the Devonshire colic of the eighteenth century in that its probable source was the use of lead in the cider and wine presses. In 1616, François Citois described Poitou colic, which, long after was found to
MYERSON MC. PARALYSIS OF THE LARYNX DUE TO LEAD POISONINGINCLUDING A CONTRADICTION OF "SEMON'S LAW". Arch Otolaryngol. 1934;20(5):659–664. doi:10.1001/archotol.1934.03600050046003
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