Karen Wetterhahn; Dartmouth Scientist
Karen Wetterhahn, 48, a scientist accidentally exposed to lethal mercury. Wetterhahn became only the second person to die of dimethylmercury poisoning in this century. She spilled mercury on her latex gloves last summer in her laboratory at Dartmouth, but she did not become ill until several months later. She had been hospitalized since January. Born in Plattsburgh, N.Y., Wetterhahn was educated at St. Lawrence and Columbia Universities. She joined Dartmouth’s faculty in 1976 and served for a time as dean of graduate studies and associate dean of the science faculty. She was a past officer of the American Assn. for Cancer Research and wrote more than 85 research papers. In 1990, Wetterhahn co-founded the Women in Science Project to increase the number of women studying science at Dartmouth. On Sunday in Lyme, N.H., of mercury poisoning.
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