“The machinery of the state is probably now so angry with my activities, but I still don’t know whether we have grounds to link this to my work. I don’t know if it is a demonstrative act to threaten me,” she said from her home in Strasbourg. “I am quite weak now and have been sick since Friday. I am really angry that I could not come to the Politkovskaya case, I was effectively prevented from coming.” The discovery has prompted speculation that she could have been the target of an attempt to silence her over the case. Exposure to high levels of mercury can damage the brain, heart, kidneys, lungs, immune and nervous systems.