Mercury poisoning: Are you affected?
After talking to people who are living with mouthfuls of mercury amalgams, it became apparent that our readers need to know more about this pervasive poison and why so many seemingly unrelated health problems can be traced to mercury toxicity. I recently spoke to a group of dentists and healthcare professionals on the ever-increasing amount of mercury to which our children have been exposed to via their childhood vaccines, and the health problems that result. Many of these health problems do not resolve until the mercury is removed from their bodies. While there are many methods of detoxing mercury from the body, the intent of this article will be the extent of the problem and symptoms of mercury poisoning.
By Ingri Cassel
Mercury is one proton heavier than gold – the atomic number for gold being 79 and mercury being 80. It is distributed throughout the earth’s crust but, unlike other metals, mercury is liquid in its elemental state. A steady stream of gaseous mercury atoms is released into the atmosphere and can linger for several months before falling back to the earth and its oceans through precipitation in the form of rain. Even when mercury is combined with other metals, mercury atoms continually escape into the atmosphere.
Although mercury is a naturally occuring substance, it is extremely poisonous in the human body. In "Mercury on the Mind," Donald Miller relates how a person attempting to smelt silver from several dental amalgams he obtained, heated them in a frying pan. The mercury vapor that was generated soon killed him. Two other family members in the home at the time died soon after. 1
Most mercury amalgams are composed of approximately 50% mercury, 35% silver and 15% tin, copper and/or zinc. Mercury is the major ingredient amounting to about one-half gram per amalgam. In the words of Professor Boyd Haley of the University of Kentucky, that is a "colossal" amount of mercury in scientific terms—as much, in fact, as is in a thermometer. A teenager with six fillings has six mercury thermometers worth of mercury in his or her mouth.
It should be noted that the more copper present in the amalgam, the more mercury vapor is released proportionally.
• Mercury atoms are continually released into the mouth with 80% absorbed by the lungs.
• Each and every amalgam daily releases on the order of 10 micrograms of mercury into the body (i.e. 3,000,000,000,000,000 mercury atoms per day).
• More than 2/3 of the excretable mercury in humans is derived from amalgams.
• People exposed to mercury on a sustained basis are at risk of lowered fertility.
• Mercury crosses the maternal placenta into the tissue of a developing fetus.
• Mercury immediately and continually challenges kidney function.
• Mercury can enhance the prevalence of multiple antibiotic resistant intestinal bacteria.
• Dentists, who collectively use 300 metric tons of mercury in amalgams each year and who often have two to five times the typical concentration of mercury in their urine, experience subtle neural and behavioral anomalies. 2,3
A very controversial source of mercury is vaccines, second only to mercury amalgams in terms of primary sources of mercury toxicity. Thimerosal (49.6% ethyl mercury) has been used as a preservative and adjuvant in most vaccines since 1931. After the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program (VICP) went into effect in October 1,1988, citizens who were injured by a vaccine or vaccines could not sue the manufacturer directly but had to first file a claim with VICP.
A separate and unconstitutional vaccine court was set up, forcing plaintiffs into an adversarial court without a jury trial. If a child provably died as the result of a vaccine, the award was capped at $250,000. However, in order to get this amount, the plaintiff must not only be successful in proving the vaccine caused death but must sign a gag order to allegedly ensure continued confidence in government mandated vaccines. Refusal to sign a gag order results in only half being awarded or $125,000. This is mentioned since the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) of the CDC has increased the number of recommended vaccines for our children annually since VICP went into effect.
It is well-known that members of the ACIP either own stock in the very vaccines they are recommending, or have other incestuous ties with vaccine manufacturers.
In direct proportion to the increasing numbers of thimerosal-laced vaccines children received during their well-baby check ups, the rate of autism soared in the 1990s, increasing between 10 and 17 percent annually. Hepatitis B vaccine was added to the schedule for newborns (12.5 mcg. of mercury) and haemophilus influenza type B (Hib) (25 mcg. of mercury) vaccine was given three times in the first six months of life.
Before 1986, children would get 25 mcg. of mercury a day, or 75 mcg. in the first six months of life. In the 1990s a typical child on the ACIP recommended vaccine schedule would receive 62.5 mcg. of mercury in one day; 187.5 mcg. in the first six months of life. The schedule didn’t take into account the 65 mcg. of mercury in each Rho-D shot for pregnant moms who had the Rh factor and/or had a mouthful of mercury amalgams.
Based upon the EPA maximum safe daily exposure to mercury being 0.1 mcg. per 2.2 pounds of body weight, Lyn Redwood testified that her autistic son had received 125 times his "safe" exposure to mercury in one day and had received a total of 237.5 mcg. of mercury through his childhood vaccines by 18 months of age.
Seldom considered are the synergistic interactions of mercury with aspartame, fluoride, aluminum, MSG and other drugs and chemicals.
Following is a brief summary of common ailments that can occur as a result of mercury poisoning.
Central Nervous System: Anxiety, depression, irritability, panic attacks, loss of memory (particularly short-term memory / forgetfulness), decline in intellect, inability to concentrate, fearfulness, restlessness, lack of motivation / extreme procrastination, exaggerated response to stimulation, emotional instability / moodiness, withdrawal, suicidal tendencies, numbness and tingling of hands, feet, fingers, toes, or lips , fine tremors / trembling of hands, feet, lips, eyelids, or tongue , dizziness, acute or chronic vertigo, poor balance.
Oral Cavity: Bleeding gums, loose teeth, canker sores / ulceration of the gums, tongue, or palate, metallic taste, excessive salivation, bad breath (halitosis), swollen tongue /inflammation of the mouth, coated tongue, dark spots on gums, bone loss around teeth, chronic tonsillitis.
Gastrointestinal: Food sensitivities, especially to milk and eggs; abdominal cramps, weak appetite, chronic constipation / diarrhea, malabsorption, leaky gut, gastroenteritis (inflammation of the mucous membrane of the stomach and intestines), frequent or recurring nausea, frequent or recurring heartburn / reflux.
Endocrine: Cold, clammy skin, especially hands and feet; low body temperature, hypoglycemia, hypothyroidism, hypoadrenalism, headaches, insomnia, constant fatigue, fertility problems, diminished sex drive, menstrual cycle problems / Pre-Menstrual Syndrome (PMS), night sweats, weight loss, excessive urination / frequent urination during the night.
Musculoskeletal: Tender, sore muscles; joint pain / swelling / stiffness; muscle cramps / twitching; low-back pain, muscle weakness.
Immunological: Candida or other yeast infections, allergies, asthma, repeated infections / suppressed immune function.
Cardiovascular: Heart racing (tachycardia) / palpitations / irregular heartrate, feeble or irregular pulse (arrhythmia), pain and/or pressure in chest (angina), elevated homocysteine, anemia, changes in blood pressure, Clotting problems, leading to easy bleeding and bruising.
Head / Eyes: Sinusitis, rhinitis / nasal congestion, unusually persistent cough, intermittent blurred distance / vision disturbances, reduced peripheral vision / tunnel vision, bulging eyes (proptosis), photophobic (pain / sensitivity to bright light), difficulty focusing on close objects (convergence difficulties), swollen lymph nodes in neck (or elsewhere in body), tinnitus (ringing in ears), hearing loss, unexplained pain in ear canals.
Skin / Hair / Nails: Dry skin, male / female hair loss; dryer, thinner, slower-growing hair, dermatitis Eczema / psoriasis, unexplained sores on skin, unexplained rashes, excessive itching, flushing or reddening of the skin, particularly on the face and neck.
Other Diseases / Syndromes
Associated with Mercury Toxicity
Alzheimer’s Disease (AD), Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS, or Lou Gerhrig’s Disease), Ankylosing Spondylitis (arthritis / inflammation of the spine), Arthritis, Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), Autism, Autoimmune disease (e.g., Sjogren’s syndrome, Graves disease, Myasthenia Gravis, etc.), Candida / yeast-overgrowth syndrome, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS), Colitis, Crohn’s disease, Fibromyalgia (FM), Gastritis, Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS), Kidney disease, learning disabilities, Manic-Depressive Disorder, Multiple Chemical Sensitivities (MCS) / Environmental Illness (EI), Multiple Sclerosis (MS), Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD), Panic disorders, Parkinson’s Disease, Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) / juvenile rheumatoid arthritis (JRA), Schizophrenia spectrum disorders, Scleroderma, Systemic Lupus Erythematosus (SLE). 4
It is important to note that many health problems listed can be multi-causal but I can’t emphasize enough the fact that many poisons in our air, food and water actually increase the toxicity of each individual poison through their interaction with one another. So if you don’t think mercury is a problem, think again. As Karen Wright noted in the print version of her article, Our Preferred Poison: "If you don’t have amalgams (which is a pretty small percentage of us—200 million Americans are estimated to have multiple fillings each), have never received a vaccine, and don’t eat fish, you are still receiving daily mercury exposure through air and water, as human activities may have doubled or tripled natural amounts of mercury in the atmosphere. These activities (such as coal-fired generators and medical-waste incinerators) are causing the mercury content of the atmosphere to rise by 1.5 percent a year."
In closing it is clear that nearly everyone living today is carrying toxic levels of mercury in their body tissues. In the next column we will look at various ways people have chelated mercury out of their bodies.
2. Wright, Karen, "Our Preferred Poison", Discover magazine, March 31, 2005, p. 58
3. Lorscheider, F.L., Vimy, M.J., and Summers, A.O. "Mercury Exposure from Silver Tooth Fillings: Emerging Evidence Questions a Traditional Dental Paradigm." FASEB Journal, April 1995.