Mercury found in bones of Danish monks

Researchers from several Danish universities have released a study of mercury levels found in the bones of monks interred in two medieval Danish cemeteries. The high levels of mercury have been attributed to the use of the metal as a medicine to treat such diseases as syphilis and leprosy or, in the case of the monks, from red ink used in the monasteries.

The study was undertaken by "Kaare Lund Rasmussen and co-researchers from the University of Southern Denmark in Odense, The Institute of Anthropology, Archaeology and Linguistics in Hojbjerg, and the Christian-Albrechts University in Kiel," and included "two Franciscan friaries, a Cistercian abbey and a parish churchyard" in Denmark.