Free Health Advice Center
take the "AM
I METAL TOXIC?" questionnaire to see if heavy metal exposure
could be a contributing factor to your feelings of ill health. If
you score high, read the information below and perhaps give a call
to set up an appointment for a free consultation.
might also want to do a little fishing in your dentist's office -
is he still putting mercury in your teeth?
am not saying you should have your fillings removed, but I have seen
many cases where metal fillings have been the underlying problem creating
a low grade persistent immune challenge. You might want to see me
or a doctor well versed in AK and NRT to check to see if your metal
fillings are in fact stressing your autonomic nervous system.
Hal Huggins, a dentist who has been studying mercury toxicity for
years, estimates that over 70% of all dental patients show some
symptoms of mercury toxicity and more than 20% of the general
population is sufficiently affected to hinder their lives. These
metals can be passed from the mother to the fetus through the placental
barrier. It is especially important for pregnant mothers to use
specific products that can bind with mercury vapor while they are
chewing to protect their unborn child. Dose requirements are dependent
on symptoms and number of fillings. And remember, even if you have
had your fillings removed, you still have metals lurking in your tissues
from all those years of chewing and through life in general. They
can be creating havoc in your body on the cellular level.
(Contact me for information)
another widely used dental metal, also appears to affect the auto
immune system. Skin sensitivities to nickel are common. Nickel is
commonly used in alloys in dental prosthetic devices with the new
alloys having 60-80% nickel and up to 1.8% beryllium. Other sources
of exposure to theses heavy metals are tobacco smoke, orthodontic
appliances, auto and truck exhaust, super phosphate fertilizers, air
contaminated by industrial nickel, coal and oil burning, nickel, cadmium
batteries, hydrogenated fats and oils and acid foods cooked in stainless
Vaccines and the Vioxx Link)
article covers: the growing distrust of drug companies; thimerosal;
Merck press release - 1999 re thimersol in vaccines; Merck memo of
1991; Merck and Vioxx; more on mercury and toxicity.)
has been an encouraging trend among many responsible parents - a
reluctance to have their kids needlessly immunized. The reasons
for this shift are twofold: First, a logical and informed evaluation
of fact (like disease infection and mortality rates); and second,
a growing distrust of drug companies.
to a CBSNews.com story, many anti-vaccine parents feel the way
they do because they think the major drug companies (and the government)
are hiding the risks of childhood vaccines from the public.
they don't want to be blindsided by the next Vioxx-type drug mortality
scandal. Adding fuel to this fire is the fact that right now, the
whole mainstream media seems abuzz with concerns about a popular vaccine
preservative called Thimerosol - which contains almost 50% ethyl mercury,
a known neurotoxin - that's thought by many to contribute to childhood
is a water-soluble, cream-colored crystalline powder. It is 49.6%
mercury by weight. In the human body, thimerosal is metabolized
to ethylmercury and thiosalicylate. The literature on thimerosal
metabolism and excretion is limited and old. Case reports have
demonstrated toxicity after massive overdoses. Toxicological information
on the chief metabolite of thimerosal, ethylmercury, is extremely
the recent controversy over the safety of thimerosal in vaccines,
toxicologists have assumed that the toxicity of ethylmercury is equivalent
to the toxicity of methylmercury. The toxicity of methylmercury is
complex and depends on the type, level, and duration of exposure.
The primary environmental exposure is through consumption of predatory
fish. A 6-ounce can of tuna fish contains an average of 17 micrograms
pediatric dose of hepatitis B vaccine contains 12.5 micrograms.
The major toxicity of mercury is manifested in the central nervous
system. Many of us still remember forty years ago, when women at Minamata
Bay, Japan, ate fish contaminated with methylmercury from pollutants.
Their children were exposed to high levels in utero and were born
with severe developmental and neurological disorders. Methylmercury
poisoning also occurred in Iraq following consumption of seed grain
that had been treated with a fungicide containing methylmercury.
is added to vaccines during manufacturing as a guarantee against production-related
contamination. Its greatest value, is in the field, where it acts
as a fail-safe against poor aseptic handling. It is valuable for multidose
vaccine vials, in which the re-entry of needles greatly increases
the risk of bacterial introduction.
factually right or wrong, in response to rising public concern about
childhood exposure to mercury (along with pressure from the U.S. Public
Health Service in the late 90s), drug companies began to curb their
use of Thimerosol. Or at least, they SAID they did.
to an L.A. Times report, at least one major drug company, Merck,
issued a press release in September of 1999 claiming to have eliminated
mercury-based compounds from its entire vaccine line. But recently,
evidence has surfaced indicating that they continued to dole out
Thimerosol-preserved versions of vaccine until as late as October
of 2001 - more than 2 years after they claimed to be mercury-free!
Merck confirmed this in their response to an FDA inquiry generated
by a recent Congressional investigation.
drug giant admits no wrongdoing, however, insisting that they were
indeed PRODUCING mercury-free vaccines at the time of the press release.
They attribute the continued supplies of the old vaccine to the need
to keep up with demand during a "transition period" between the two
medicines. (I guess they didn't want to waste any inventory.)
is easy to see why parents and people in the know have good reason
to distrust the drug giants! If Thimerosol did indeed cause autism
(or even if proof surfaces later that it does), vaccine-skeptical
parents who believed Merck's slippery verbiage between 1999 and 2001
would have unwittingly exposed their children to risk. The fact that
it may not contribute to the condition is irrelevant to my point.
Why? Because Merck itself was worried about Thimerosol's effects,
and they did nothing about it for a DECADE!
to the Times expose, a "leaked" corporate memo from Merck shows
that the drug giant was aware - and even concerned about - the levels
of mercury in some of its vaccines for kids. The date of that memo:
1991. A full ten years before their vaccines were made mercury-free.
memo came from a leading vaccinologist and former Senior VP of Merck
and clearly highlights Thimerosol as a potential safety hazard. The
bottom line is that Merck believed its vaccines contained unsafe levels
of mercury years ago, yet continued to make and distribute them anyway.
real problem is that this cover-up by Merck isn't an isolated incident
- along with the recent Vioxx scandal, it's evidence of a continuing
pattern of deception that could be KILLING PEOPLE.
Merck & Co. is presently facing massive legal actions because they
also knew about the extreme risks of their Vioxx arthritis medicine
years before the recent scandal - but they never made a move to change
the medication or pull it from shelves until people started DYING
in large numbers. And they most surely wouldn't have stopped selling
the medicine if it hadn't been for increasing awareness among doctors
and public health entities that something was amiss with the drug.
The same goes for these vaccines, I'm sure.
real question is: How many other drugs in their line does Merck believe
(or know) are hazardous, that they are continuing to sell anyway?
And if every other drug company's doing this same kind of covering-up,
we're in a lot of trouble.
educated parents nowadays are having second thoughts about inoculating
their children because of concerns about an increased risk of autism
from the Mercury-based preservatives in many childhood vaccines. Whether
these Mercury-preserved vaccines are safe or not, you're doing the
right thing by your kids by erring on the side of distrust of drug
therein lies the silver lining: If this perception - right or wrong
- prevents some parents from having their children needlessly jabbed
with needles and injected with variations of a dozen or more deadly
diseases, I say: BRAVO!
are proven connections between mercury and autism. I've been talking
about quicksilver's dangers for years - not just with regard to vaccine
preservatives. I've been sounding the alarm about the deadly mercury
we're surrounded with daily, and even INGESTING. It all stands repeating
is toxic to cellular membranes. It inactivates a number of enzymes
and also suppresses the immune response.
is found in substances ranging from eye makeup to industrial waste
to contaminated seafood. Nearly 3,700 pounds of mercury from industrial
sites are known to have contaminated air, land, and water in Washington
last year, and untold additional pounds went unreported.
recent Reuters online article cited a University of Texas study of
coal-fired power plant emissions in the area which uncovered once
and for all a link between environmentally-absorbed mercury and autism.
The study pinpointed a 17% increase in impairment per thousand pounds
of atmospheric mercury released into Texas counties in close proximity
to coal-burning plants.
many pounds of mercury are belched into the air we breathe every year
by the hundreds of coal-burning plants in the nation? About 96,000
may be a partial explanation why the rates of autism amongst children
in the U.S. have increased dramatically over the recent years. This
is the first time I've really heard atmospheric mercury pollution
put into numbers, and it's pretty scary. But what's
just as scary is the mercury we may be putting into our own mouths.
you know, I've been a huge fan in the past of fish in the diet - for
years, I've talked about the relative health of those from fish-eating
cultures (like the Finns and the Japanese). For heart-vital Omega-3s,
there's simply no better source than cold-water fishes like trout,
salmon, cod, halibut, and tuna.
the last few years, however, I've become more concerned about levels
of mercury in fish. Much I've read from credible sources has lead
me to believe that the mercury in our environment is finding its way
more and more into fish-flesh. I've cautioned my patients against
farm-reared trout and salmon because they have been shown to contain
unsafe levels of mercury and other toxins.
I hate to give up Sushi, I am beginning to fear that there may be
some degree of risk in ALL fish caught anywhere, if the trend in recent
reporting is anywhere near accurate.
mercury advisories have more than doubled just since the mid-90s -
and as of 2002, 43 states had mercury advisories of one type or another
pertaining to their lakes, rivers, streams, or coastal waters.
Another EPA factoid states that because long-lived fish at the
top of the food chain (swordfish, pike, etc.) subsist entirely on
a diet of other fish, through "bio-magnification" they can accumulate
as much as 10 million times the mercury concentration as the water
they swim in! That can't be safe to eat.
I read a Finnish study in the American Heart Association's journal
that directly correlates a high-fish diet - more specifically, the
high levels of mercury in the body (measured by hair analysis) associated
with a high-fish diet - to a 60-70% increase in the risk of coronary
good news: This means that we're beginning to transform, via mercury
pollution, the very source of nutrition that's best for our hearts
into a potential risk factor for heart disease!
fish-lovers, I'm not sure what to tell you. I haven't yet tracked
down any sources that can provide mercury-free fish (believe me, I'm
looking). Of course, you can still get all the Omega-3s you need from
other dietary sources like raw nuts and grass-fed, grass-dressed
beef and buffalo, or through supplementation (if fish-oil based,
make sure your supplements are pre-treated for mercury contamination).
Little Background on Mercury
are several forms of mercury, of which Methylmercury is the
most toxic form. Mercury is a toxin that among other things affects
the immune system, alters genetic code and enzyme systems, it settles
in the heart contributing to arrhythmias, it settles in the thyroid
and depresses thyroid function, it gets into the sinuses and causes
irritation and congestion, it settles in the nervous system and causes
damage, including loss of coordination, memory and the senses of touch,
taste, and sight. It interferes with digestion as well as the assimulation
is particularly damaging to developing embryos, which are five to
ten times more sensitive than adults. It is passed to the embryo through
the placenta where it lodges into the nervous system and other developing
to methylmercury is usually by ingestion, and it is absorbed more
readily and excreted more slowly than other forms of mercury.
Elemental mercury on the other hand, is absorbed relatively slowly
and may pass through the digestive system without causing damage.
are exposed to methylmercury almost entirely by eating contaminated
fish and wildlife that are at the top of aquatic foodchains.
National Research Council, in its 2000 report on the toxicological
effects of methylmercury, pointed out that the population at highest
risk is the offspring of women who consume large amounts of fish and
seafood. The report went on to estimate that more than 60,000
children are born each year at risk for adverse neurodevelopmental
effects due to in utero exposure to methylmercury.
its 1997 Mercury Study Report to Congress, the U.S. Environmental
Protection Agency concluded that mercury also may pose a risk to some
adults and wildlife populations that consume large amounts of fish
that is contaminated by mercury. Fish-eating birds in certain parts
of the United States may also ingest large amounts of methylmercury
in their diet.
and metal processing, incineration of coal, and medical and other
waste, and mining of gold and mercury contribute greatly to mercury
concentrations in some areas, but atmospheric deposition is the dominant
source of mercury over most of the landscape. Once in the atmosphere,
mercury is widely disseminated and can circulate for years, accounting
for its wide-spread distribution.
sources of atmospheric mercury include volcanoes, geologic deposits
of mercury, and volatilization from the ocean. Although all rocks,
sediments, water, and soils naturally contain small but varying amounts
of mercury, scientists have found some local mineral occurrences and
thermal springs that are naturally high in mercury.
is a product of complex processes that move and transform mercury.
Atmospheric deposition contains the three principal forms of mercury,
although inorganic divalent mercury (HgII) is the dominant form. Once
in surface water, mercury enters a complex cycle in which one form
can be converted to another. Mercury attached to particles can
settle onto the sediments where it can diffuse into the water column,
be resuspended, be buried by other sediments, or be methylated. Methylmercury
can enter the food chain, or it can be released back to the atmosphere
concentration of dissolved organic carbon (DOC) and pH have a strong
effect on the ultimate fate of mercury in an ecosystem. Studies have
shown that for the same species of fish taken from the same region,
increasing the acidity of the water (decreasing pH) and/or the DOC
content generally results in higher mercury levels in fish, an indicator
of greater net methylation. Higher acidity and DOC levels enhance
the mobility of mercury in the environment, thus making it more likely
to enter the food chain.
and methylmercury exposure to sunlight (specifically ultra-violet
light) has an overall detoxifying effect. Sunlight can break down
methylmercury to Hg(II) or Hg(0), which can leave the aquatic environment
and reenter the atmosphere as a gas.
mercury is a globally dispersed contaminant, it is not a problem everywhere.
Aside from grossly polluted environments, mercury is normally a problem
only where the rate of natural formation of methylmercury from inorganic
mercury is greater than the reverse reaction.
is the only form of mercury that accumulates appreciably in fish.
Plants exposed to natural UV-light during the growth process release
any methylmercury. Birds and fish are unable to do that.
you're worried about mercury in your body (which you should be, especially
if you have silver fillings), I recently read in an issue of NeuroToxicology
recently that daily supplementation with N-acetyl-cysteine (NAC)
can help protect your body against further mercury damage. I regularly
use several supplements for all my patients with fillings. I use a
special supplement to help assist with digestion (because it is often
compromised from our diet and the constant assault of the metals vaporizing
from chewing and eating heated foods.) A supplement that assists in
salivary manufacture of enzymes necessary for the body to remove the
vaporized metals, and a volcanic ash that can pick up many times its
weight in toxic waste and carry it out.
literature says that you can not undo cellular damage from mercury
already in your body, but NAC can reduce further damage by more than
83%. NAC is something we should probably all be taking. In
my practice I combine NAC with the three above mentioned products.
the insulted organ systems are supported, in my experience, they can
eventually be rebuilt and healed.
Poisoning, Which Can Harm Your Kidneys and Reduce Your Bone Density,
was both good and bad news in the Centers for Disease Control and
Prevention's (CDC) monumental "Third National Report on Human Exposure
to Environmental Chemicals." Good news first. The study, which
CDC Director Dr. Julie Gerberding says is the "largest and most comprehensive
report of its kind ever released anywhere by anyone," found that secondhand
smoke exposure among Americans has gone down significantly, as have
lead blood levels in children.
is a major source of cadmium exposure.
from 1999 to 2002, exposure to secondhand smoke, as measured by median
levels of cotinine, a metabolite of nicotine, decreased (compared
to levels from 1988-1991):
68 percent in children
* 69 percent in adolescents
* 75 percent in adults
only 1.6 percent of children between the ages of 1 and 5 had elevated
blood lead levels, compared to 4.4 percent in the early 1990s.
Levels Raise Concern
for the bad news. About 5 percent of people aged 20 and over had
urinary cadmium levels at or near levels that may cause health problems.
Studies have found that urine levels of cadmium as low as 1 microgram
per gram of creatinine may be linked to kidney injury and an increased
risk for low bone mineral density.
is a metal found naturally in the earth's crust, but because it reacts
readily with other elements like oxygen, chlorine and sulfur, it's
rarely found in pure form. Certain forms of cadmium, cadmium sulfates
and cadmium chlorides also dissolve extremely easily in water, so
much so that they're rarely found in solid form.
is rarely found in this pure form--it's usually combined with other
elements. Cadmium accumulates in the body and can stay there for
many years. The metal accumulates most often in the bones,
liver and kidneys and can cause damage to these areas.
Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) also says that cadmium
and cadmium compounds may "reasonably be anticipated to be carcinogens."
potential health effects include, according to the Agency for Toxic
Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR):
Breathing high levels can cause severe lung damage and death
* Eating food or drinking water that contains high levels can irritate
the stomach and lead to vomiting and diarrhea
* Lower long-term exposure from air, food or water leads to a buildup
of cadmium in the kidneys and may cause kidney disease
* Long-term exposure can cause lung damage and fragile bones
Animals given cadmium in food or water had high blood pressure, iron-poor
blood, liver disease, and nerve or brain damage
has been linked to other health risks as well, including:
Weakening the immune system
* Lung cancer
* Prostate enlargement
* Reproductive risks including premature birth, low birth weight,
stillbirth and spontaneous abortion
* Behavioral problems and learning disabilities
are People Exposed to Cadmium?
than 90 percent of people's exposure to cadmium comes from food,
according to ATSDR. Low levels are found in all foods, with shellfish,
liver and kidney meats having the highest levels. Cigarette
smoke is another major source of the metal, and is absorbed by the
body more readily than that from food and water.
only 5 percent to 10 percent of cadmium from food is absorbed into
the bloodstream, 40 percent to 60 percent of cadmium inhaled from
cigarette smoke is absorbed. Smoking more than 20 cigarettes a day
can increase cadmium levels by tenfold, and the ATSDR says smoking
doubles the average daily intake of cadmium.
is also used in manufacturing batteries, pigments, metal coatings
and plastics, so living near or working in one of these facilities
could increase your exposure through air or water (it's estimated
that 4,000 to 13,000 tons of cadmium are released into the environment
every year due to such processes). Drinking contaminated water
is also a source. Nickel-cadmium batteries should be kept out
of children's reach.
to Reduce Your Exposure
are ways to reduce your exposure to cadmium, particularly if you work
in a related industry (metal processing, electroplating, battery manufacture,
ore refineries). If this applies to you, be sure to carefully follow
all workplace safety procedures. Also take special care not to bring
cadmium dust into your home via shoes, clothing and tools. You may
also want to shower when you get home to remove any dust on your body
and hair. For everyone, to reduce cadmium exposure to yourself and
Store products containing cadmium (nickel-cadmium batteries, fertilizers)
safely out of children's reach
* Use cadmium products only as instructed
* Limit consumption of shellfish and liver
* Eat a balanced, healthy diet - your main weapon to strengthen your
* Start taking NCD on a daily
basis to help rid the storage of heavy metals in the cells of your