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Can you become "mad as a hatter?"

Like most in Bozeman, you probably attribute the term "mad as a hatter" as having originated with the Mad Hatter character from Lewis Carroll's novel "Alice in Wonderland." Yet in actuality, the term was used long before then to describe an occupational illness. Felt was often used in the making of hats, and mercury nitrate was a common component used in its fabrication. This led to countless hatmakers contracting erethism due to mercury exposure, which is characterized by delirium, hallucinations and even suicidal tendencies. 

Today, the term "brain toxicity" is used to describe brain injuries that result from toxic exposure. According to information shared by Amen Clinics, your brain's ability to soak up knowledge is almost equaled by its capacity to absorb and retain toxins. Over time, saturation from these toxins can lead to issues such as: 

  • Depression
  • Personality changes 
  • Fatigue 
  • Memory loss
  • Motor tics
  • Seizures

There are any number of chemicals and toxins that can contribute to brain toxicity. Prolonged exposure to carbon monoxide, for example, is often cited as the cause of toxic brain injuries. Some of the more common elements used in construction and manufacturing (such as lead, mercury and manganese) can also be extremely harmful to the brain. Trace elements of these compounds are often found in commercial and residential structures as well as in workplaces. Proper ventilation systems help to flush the ambient air of them and keep concentrations at safe levels. Those whose work exposes them to increased levels of toxic chemicals should be provided with appropriate safety equipment. The failure of an employer or property owner to implement and maintain safety measures that protect you and others toxin exposure may certainly be viewed by many as negligence. 

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Bozeman, MT 59715

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