Medicine: Death at the Hearth

With coal running scarce in Britain last fall, the housewives of Canklow village in Yorkshire were delighted when a junk dealer showed up hawking a pile of old auto battery cases. The vulcanite cases were certainly a bargain—only a shilling a sackful—and they blazed warmly in open grates.

Just before Christmas, a wave of mysterious illness struck Canklow's children, caused headaches, jaundice and anemia! Twenty-five children were rushed to hospitals, dozens more were treated at home. On Christmas Eve, doctors took 200 blood tests, diagnosed the plague as lead poisoning. Then they checked back, learned that every stricken child came from a...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now

Subscribe
Subscribe

Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on TIME.com

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!