Question: Which compound, reportedly absorbed through intact skin covered by a latex glove, was responsible for the death of was Dartmouth researcher Dr. Karen Wetterhahn?
Answer: Dr. Wetterhahn, a 48-year-old researcher, was reportedly working with dimethylmercury in her laboratory, under a chemical hood, when a small amount of this extraordinarily toxic chemical was spilled onto her gloved hand. This material was absorbed and she died 298 days following exposure having suffered severe neurotoxic effects of dimethylmercury. (Nierenberg DW et al. Delayed cerebellar disease and death after accidental exposure to dimethylmercury. 1998 NEJM 338(23): 1672-1676)