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The Top Sources of Mercury Exposure: Some Things May Shock You

Mercury is one of the most toxic substances in the world, yet it is becoming evermore present in our society. When asked about what are the main sources of mercury, the most common answer is usually seafood. Little do people know that while certain varieties of seafood indeed do contain levels of mercury higher than official safety limits, there are a bunch of other sources of mercury that we are exposed to on a daily basis that are much worse. It should be noted that while there may be official safety levels of mercury stated, in reality, the safety level should be zero due to the harmful effects of this heavy metal. Many neurological diseases are being linked to mercury, including multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s, Autism, as well as several other side effects that will be mentioned below. Beyond the negative health aspects associated with mercury, there is also the environmental impact. Mercury can travel in the atmosphere from anywhere between 3 months to 2 years, where it ultimately contaminates soil and water. When removing mercury from your body, make sure to use safe and effective detoxification methods (LINK), as it is highly toxic and should be done carefully.

Primary Forms of Mercury:

Ethylmercury (Inorganic Mercury) – This is the most toxic, typically found in amalgam fillings and vaccines.

Methylmercury (Organic Mercury) – This is slightly less toxic than ethylmercury, which is found in fish.

Sources of Mercury

Primary sources of mercury exposure

Amalgam Fillings

In 1991, the World Health Organization acknowledged the fact that dental amalgam fillings were the primary source of human exposure to mercury. In the video  HYPERLINK “http://www.youtube.com/watch?list=PL63AA790A377E91EF&feature=player_embedded&v=Bw94F94FZqA” \l “!” Smoking Teeth, they showed a demonstration of mercury vapor coming off an amalgam filling after being exposed to water temperatures of 98.6 degrees Fahrenheit, which is the temperature of the human body. They also did various demonstrations with different temperatures and conditions and showed that vapor continues to release from fillings for a minimum of an hour and a half! This is really, really disturbing. In 1985, the  HYPERLINK “http://iaomt.org/” International Academy of Oral Medicine and Toxicology did a study to determine how much mercury was coming off of fillings and it showed that a substantial amount of mercury was released.

Studies were done on sheep by implanting mercury fillings with radioactive isotopes so that researchers could track where it accumulated in the body. Within just 30 days, mercury was found to be accumulating in significant quantities in the kidneys, liver, jaw and stomach. Their kidneys showed significant malfunction. Tests were also done on primates that revealed the same results. Mercury accumulated in their jaw, kidneys, heart, liver, and heart. Antibiotic-resistant bacteria were found to increase in the gastrointestinal tract (GI tract) within two weeks of implanting the amalgam fillings. The American Physiological Society released a report in 1990 that experimented on sheep. It showed that mercury immediately crossed the placental barrier and accumulated in the fetus, and it actually accumulated even higher after the baby was born because of the transfer of mercury in the mother’s milk. On top of this, the dental personnel are exposed to mercury vapor, which can lead to excessive concentrations in their body and cause brain damage.

Watch the video here.

It’s only about 9 minutes long but very informative! Toxicteeth.org is another great resource about amalgam fillings. Check it out.

The ADA (American Dental Association) refuses to publicly acknowledge that amalgam fillings are toxic. It is understandable, considering the fact that if they issued such a public statement, they would undoubtedly be under fire from class-action lawsuits. Over 40% of doctors don’t use the stuff anymore, yet many are not adequately trained in the proper removal of amalgam fillings. Like mentioned earlier, be sure to look for a holistic, biological dentist that takes the necessary precautions before removal.

Precautions that your dentist should take before removing amalgam fillings:

-Have a mask on to breath through your nose.

-Have a dam in your mouth to prevent excess mercury from being swallowed or inhaled.

-Have activated charcoal or chlorella to absorb excess mercury.

-Use cold-water spray to minimize mercury vapor from the heat during removal.

-Have a high-volume evacuator near the tooth during the whole process to remove mercury vapor.

-Have proper exhaust systems that filter the mercury vapor before releasing it outside.

Every time you chew food or bite on something, you are releasing small amounts of mercury vapor. A lot of this is inhaled, which enables it to get into your blood stream much easier. Up to 15 micrograms of mercury, per filling can be released into your system every day. So when you think about it, the average person has about 8 amalgam fillings, which equals up to 120mcg of mercury every day. To put things in perspective, the official safe level of daily exposure is 0.05mcg per day. Mercury tainted food has about 2.3mcg of mercury in it.

To help find a biological dentist, check out some of the following sites:

The Holistic Dental Association

Consumers for Dental Choice

International Academy of Biological Dentistry and Medicine

Vaccines

In 2000, the average amount of vaccines given to a child in US before the age of two is 22. This is a ridiculous amount, considering the fact that in the 1940s, children on average only received three vaccinations by the age of two. Due to the public outcry of mercury-containing childhood vaccines, all childhood vaccines now have a mercury-free version. It is extremely important that parents look into the ingredients of the vaccines that are being given.

For a list of all vaccines in the US that have mercury,  click here. Still, the seasonal flu shot contains Thimerosal. Thimerosal contains 49.6% mercury, which is degraded into ethylmercury and thiosalicylate. Remember, ethylmercury is more toxic than methylmercury.

Autism has been increasing by an annual rate of 10-17 percent since the late 1980s. Some scientists have commented on the correlation between the 1,500 percent increase in autism since 1991 and the doubling in childhood vaccinations, which started in 1991.

The flu vaccine has been shown to be ineffective against the flu. Studies have shown that Vitamin D3 is a much better, safer alternative.

Here are some studies showing Thimerosal’s negative effects on health:

Linking low-dose exposure of mercury from Thimerosal to autism

Hepatitis B Triple Series Vaccine and Developmental Disability in US Children Aged 1-9 Years

Organic Mercury Compounds and Autoimmunity

Mitochondrial Dysfunction, Impaired Oxidative Reduction Activity, Degeneration, and Death in Human Neuronal and Fetal Cells Induced by Low-level Exposure to Thimerosal and Other Metal Compounds

The ironic thing is that when mercury began to phase out of vaccines, it was replaced with aluminum, which is highly toxic as well. There have  been links between aluminum toxicity and autism, Parkinson’s, Lou Gehrig’s Disease (ALS), and Alzheimer’s.

What else contains aluminum?

Most antiperspirants

Most baking powders

Aluminum cookware

Antacids like Maalox and Mylanta

Aluminum cans – Can leach aluminum into products once the lining breaks down. High-acid foods like tomatoes break down the interior lining the most. You should store and buy high-acid goods in glass jars.

Beyond the mercury and aluminum, there is usually a concoction of other toxic substances in vaccines like formaldehyde and MSG.  Formaldehyde is a known carcinogen.

Here’s a list of ingredients present in various vaccines.What is monkey kidney tissue and chick kidney cells doing in a vaccine? I know that it is done to make the virus replicate chick cells and to reduce its ability to replicate human cells, but I still have issues with it. Maybe I wouldn’t mind AS much if these tissues were going into my system via my digestive tract, but being directly injected into my blood steam is a real cause for concern.

Seafood

After coal power plants and other industrial sources release mercury into the atmosphere, it eventually ends up in lakes, rivers, and the ocean. Once it gets in the water, bacteria convert it into methylmercury. This methylmercury accumulates in fish and marine life, which leads to the bioaccumulation of higher mercury concentrations in animals higher up on the food chain when they consume smaller fish.

Fish highest in mercury (Avoid)

Tuna, King Mackerel, Swordfish, Golden Snapper (tilefish), Gulf Coast Oysters, Pike, Sea Bass, Atlantic Halibut, Shark, Tuna Steaks, Grouper, Spanish Mackerel, Bluefish, Sea Trout, Lobster

*Farmed salmon have high concentrations of POPs (persistent organic pollutants) like PCB’s (polychlorinated biphenyls). Other pollutants considered POPs are dioxins and dieldrin, which is a toxic organochlorine pesticide. The US banned PCBs in 1977 because it was found to be a neurotoxin and hormone disrupter. Farmed salmon has far inferior nutritional content versus wild salmon and is fed GMO corn, soy, and antibiotics so definitely spend the extra money on wild salmon. Wild salmon also has low POPs, both canned and fresh. Another reason to buy wild salmon is because scientists have now created a GMO salmon species that grows larger and is basically a mutant fish. Do your best to avoid it!

Fish with moderate amount of mercury

Cod, Black Cod, Alaskan Halibut, Blue mussels, Gulf Coast Crab, Dungeness Crab, Light Canned Tuna, Pollock, Eastern Oysters

*Nursing/Pregnant women and children should limit eating any of the above to once a month.

EPA’s current estimates of mercury content in canned tuna:

Canned White/Albacore Tuna: ~0.32ppm of mercury

Canned Light Tuna: ~0.12ppm of mercury

Here’s a chart detailing how much tuna is safe to eat, depending on how much you weigh.

Fish with low amount of mercury

Sardines, Anchovies, Herring, Scallops, Clams, Crawfish, King Crab, Pacific Flounder, Arctic Char, Wild Salmon (Alaskan/Pacific), Striped Bass, Sturgeon, Catfish, Sanddabs, Tilapia, Mullet, Chub/Boston Mackerel, Spiny Lobster, Freshwater Perch

*Nursing/Pregnant women and children should limit eating any of the above to 2-3 times per week.

Industrial Activities such as:

Coal Power Plants

In the United States alone, about 50 tons of mercury is released into the atmosphere. While efforts are being made to reduce the amount of mercury release by 40%, mercury still travels in the atmosphere from other countries in the mercury global cycle. Unless regulations are made on a global scale, coal plants around the world will continue to contaminate the global community.

Cement Kilns

While there are much fewer cement kilns than coal power plants, some have been shown to release more mercury in the atmosphere than coal plants. Collectively, cement kilns release approximately 10-15 tons of mercury into the atmosphere annually. This is due to the energy intensive nature of cement production, which uses coal to power. Mercury is also released from limestone, which oftentimes is a source of heavy metals.

Chlor-Alkali Plants – Chloro-alkali plants use mercury cells to make various products ranging from food products like sodium benzoate, high fructose corn syrup, and citric acid, to things like bleach, laundry detergents, and PVC plastics. A study on PubMed revealed that of the high fructose corn syrup samples tested, products had mercury levels ranging between 0.005mcg and 0.570mcg per gram of HFCS. About 45% of the samples had significant amounts of mercury.  Here is the commentary that was published in the Environmental Health Journal that referred to this study. The average American consumes ~50 grams of HFCS per day, which could potentially expose them to 28.5mcg of mercury every day.

Gold Mining

Gold has been traditionally used to separate gold from other substances and make it into a pure form. According to the EPA, about 400 metric tons of mercury is released annually into the atmosphere globally. The US Geological Survey estimates that abandoned mines in California from the late 1800s continue to release hundreds of thousands of pounds of mercury annually.

Compact Fluorescent Light bulbs (CFL) – Did you know that compact fluorescent light bulbs have small amounts of mercury in it? There’s about 4-5mg of mercury in each light bulb. Remember before how only 0.05mcg a day is the safety limit?  If the lights break in your house, special precaution must be taken so that you don’t end up getting exposed to the stuff. There have been issues of CFLs leaking mercury vapor from bulbs that were not properly sealed. Many of these come from China, which is a large exporter of CFLs. Another issue with these bulbs is the fact that they emit UVA radiation, which is the type that can use skin cancer and premature aging. This type of radiation penetrates deep in the skin, so it could pose potential health risks.  A Stony Brook University study in 2012 revealed the harmful effects of CFL bulbs to skin. They tested CFL bulbs from different locations and measured the UV emissions. They found that all the bulbs tested had cracks in the phosphor coating, which let significant amounts of UVA radiation to leak through. Tests done on incandescent light bulbs showed no effects towards healthy skin cells. They recommended that CFL bulbs should be placed behind additional glass for increased safety.

Cosmetics

Many anti-aging, skin lightening, and lotions are known to contain mercury compounds. Not all products will list mercury as one of their ingredients. There may be variations of it listed as mercurous chloride, mercuric, mercurio, or calomel. Definitely take a look to make sure you aren’t inadvertently slathering mercury all over your body. The Minnesota Department of Health tested 27 samples of products and found mercury in 11 of them, all with way more than 1ppm. One of them had 33,000ppm! According to an article by NBC News, the FDA found 35 products that contained mercury, but there most likely is more. Do yourself a favor and pay attention to the ingredients of cosmetics you buy.

Red Tattoo Coloring (vermilion and cinnabar)

Mercury is often found in red coloring tattoos, using vermilion or cinnabar. If you are looking to get tattoos with red ink in it, be sure to verify that it is mercury-free.

While most of us know that mercury is dangerous, most of us are unaware of the hidden sources of mercury. I firmly believe that heavy metals like mercury are a driving factor in many underlying illnesses that people experience. If you haven’t had a detox before, it would be in your best interest to cleanse your body of the years of toxin accumulation that likely has occurred.

One more thing –

For those of you that are curious about some of the side effects of mercury, take a look at some of the symptoms below.

“Some” Side Effects of Mercury

Multiple Sclerosis

Parkinson’s

Autism

Alzheimer’s

Memory Loss

ADHD

Lou Gehrig’s Disease

Learning Disabilities

Slurred Speech

Paralysis

Myasthenia Gravis (abnormal weakness of certain muscles)

Dizziness

Depression

Anxiety

Emotional Instability

Schizophrenia

Borderline Personality Disorder

OCD

Panic Attacks

Mad Hatter’s Disease

Insanity of all kinds

Asthma

Emphysema

Glaucoma

Corneal Ulcers

Eye Floaters

Farsightedness

Nearsightedness

Blurred Vision

All Forms of Cancer

Gastrointestinal Tract Damage

Kidney Damage

Liver Damage

Miscarriages

Problems Conceiving

Dysfunctional Thyroid

Crohn’s Disease

Grave’s Disease

Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

Ulcerative Colitis

Leaky Gut Syndrome

Rheumatoid Arthritis

Lupus

Psoriasis

Hair Loss

Chemical Sensitivities

Rashes

Allergies

Endocrine Disorders

Tooth Loss

Gingivitis

Periodontal Disease

Oral Galvanism – Electrical current is released after amalgam is exposed to saliva and other metals like from utensils. An electrical shock is created inside the mouth.

Bad Breath

Swollen Tongue

Chronic Tonsillitis

Canker Sores

Bone Loss Around Teeth

Dark Spots on Gums

The Venus Factor

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