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Antimony Poisoning?

"I'm sorry to be such a bother." Claudia paces back and forth on the tilted deck. "But I just have to know. Do you understand that?"

"Sure," you say. "I guess so. How about antimony poisoning? It was used in fever medicine, so they could have been overdosing on it."

"But we have no evidence they were," she says. "None. No empty bottles, no mention in the journals. Antimony is right out."

"Rats," you say.

"Let's go through the possibilities again," Claudia says.

"Right." You tick them off on your fingers. "Lead. They didn't know how to make tin cans very well back then. They were often contaminated with lead."

"But there were only six cans in the whole trash pile," she replies. "Enough to poison six people, perhaps, but hardly the whole expedition. Lead is out."

"Okay," you say.

An Access Excellence Science Mystery sponsored by Genentech, Inc.
Copyright © 1997 Genentech, Inc.; all rights reserved.

 

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