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Zinc Poisoning and Flu Mystery

 
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Manuell Alvarez



Joined: 14 Jun 2011
Posts: 192

PostPosted: Thu Nov 02, 2017 8:25 pm    Post subject: Zinc Poisoning and Flu Mystery Reply with quote

I worked as a draftsman for a brass foundry that cast brass that contained Zinc. The foundry workers when casting yellow brass would come down with the shakes, (Zinc poisoning), which they claimed was similar to having the flu.
Yellow brass is made with 50% Copper and 50% Zinc.
Some of the symptoms mimic the flu like fever, gastrointestinal problems, shaking with chills, headaches, and cough.
I would imagine that the West Virginia Asturian Zinc foundry furnace workers in Anmoore were subjected to bouts of Zinc poisoning.
My father said that his brother, Angel, died of the flu. Could it be that he had Zinc poisoning instead of the flu? Both have conditions that create respiratory problems. Unfortunately, we will never know which exposure that he had. Perhaps he had both.
Angel is buried somewhere in the Clarksburg area in an unmarked grave which in the early 1960's my late sister and father tried to find his grave to no avail.
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Art
Site Admin


Joined: 17 Feb 2003
Posts: 4427
Location: Maryland

PostPosted: Fri Nov 03, 2017 1:51 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

That's an interesting question. It could have been related to zinc toxicity.

Do you know what year he died? I wonder if it was during the 1918 flu pandemic (January 1918 – December 1920), which was commonly called the Spanish flu? That nearly took my grandfather and left him deaf.
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Manuell Alvarez



Joined: 14 Jun 2011
Posts: 192

PostPosted: Fri Nov 03, 2017 7:10 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Angel was still alive in January, 1920, when he brought my father and uncle Ramon into the US at Key West from Cuba. I am not sure when he expired. I guess that a request for his death certificate would shed some light on the time frame and cause of death, if it even exists. Angel like my uncle Jake, aunt Josepha, and three cousins are not in the 1930 Census. That is a huge time frame from 1920 to 1930. I suspect that he died in 1920.

Dad told me that he died of the flu and that is all I know; except, for the fact that Dad and my sister tried to find his grave site. I do not even know why they were looking. They checked with the Catholic Church, the cemetery burial records, and my aunt in Fairmont. I am assuming that my family did not erect a stone marker for locating the site, and over time, they forgot where he was buried. Sad but true.
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Manuell Alvarez



Joined: 14 Jun 2011
Posts: 192

PostPosted: Fri Nov 03, 2017 9:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Art,

My Asturian first cousin, Angel, who is the son of my father's youngest sister developed deafness after having the flu like your grandfather. Evidently, it can leave one with very severe medical and physical maladies.

Angel is a ham radio operator like me; however, his son Juan tells me that he still operates by using slow scan TV.

Juan reads and writes English extremely well, and so I can communicate without using Spanish. It was through the Forum that Juan found me.

Juan's Grandfather owned and operated a grain mill near the family farm. Juan's family still owns the mill and property.

Manny
Manny
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