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Scientists Confirm Beethoven Died of Lead Poisoning

Scientists say they have gathered solid evidence that beloved classical composer Ludwig van Beethoven died of lead poisoning.

In a study conducted at U.S. Energy Department laboratory, Argonne National, researchers say they found huge amounts of lead in bone fragments from the top of Beethoven's skull.

They say the findings confirm earlier tests done on Beethoven's hair that lead poisoning caused his years of chronic debilitating illness.

Director of the study, Bill Walsh says the presence of lead in the skull suggests that Beethoven's exposure to lead may have lasted for many years. The source of the lead remains a mystery.

Beethoven, who was born in Germany and lived mostly in Austria, died in 1827 at age 56.