Apart from causing terrible suffering to patients, the only result of this cure was often death by mercurialism
, i.e poisoning by mercury.
Mercury poisoning, known as mercurialism
, can cause kidney damage and - at high levels - intestinal problems, nervous irritability and water retention.
Amid the fumes and dust, workers suffered from mercurialism
, nicknamed "haters' shakes," a hazard of the trade that also caused ulcerated gums, loose teeth, sickly breath, and in women, suppressed menstruation and miscarriages.