Larry Sherwood wrote (quoting from the Washington Post):
>Study Concludes Beethoven Died From Lead Poisoning
>... six of Ludwig van Beethoven's hairs and a few pieces of his skull,
>scientists have gathered what they say is conclusive evidence that the
>famous composer died of lead poisoning.
>Among the possibilities are his liberal indulgence in wine consumed
>from lead cups
>One metal that was clearly absent was mercury ... a detail that weakens
>the hypothesis floated by some that Beethoven had syphilis, which in
>those days was commonly treated with mercury.
What a bummer! Ludwig didn't die from syphilis and had all the fun that
implies. All he did was drink wine to get his buzz and died early because
he insisted on drinking it from his favourite lead cup. We could have
had 15 or 20 Beethoven symphonies (instead of 9 and one uncompleted one),
but he had to go and drink from a poisonous vessel. From now on, I'm
drinking my booze out of glasses only.