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The Dangers of Ingested Mercury (Hg)

by Townsend Letters for Doctors

Editor:

Just recently, the Director for Science in the Public Interest, based in Washington, DC, suggested that there is a higher level of mercury in tuna than that which is safe for children.

If a child ingests mercury-containing tuna regularly, blood levels won’t rise until a tissue saturation has taken effect. Long before this tissue saturation takes place, such a child might experience speech and motor development delays, allergies, energy problems, learning disabilities, digestive problems, tooth decay, emotional and severe psychiatric problems.

When we see elevated levels in a child’s blood, the exposure has been severe and symptoms of toxicity are present. In other words, the child’s mental and physical well-being is affected, sometimes severely and irrevocably.

As early as 1982, Dr. Martin Laker of the Royal Hospital for Sick Children in Bristol wrote in his Lancet article which accurately assessed the differences between hair, blood and urine analysis: “…in the future, when an assessment of body trace elements is needed, it might be wise to pause before rushing to take a blood sample. A specimen of hair might be more appropriate.”

Just a few days after Parenting Magazine hit the shelves, a medical doctor’s wife brought in a hair sample of their 4-yeaar old son who has severe speech delays and motor developmental problems. Because of apparent learning disabilities, the boy had been admitted to a special school for the mentally disabled. While no medical or psychiatric tests or help had been spared in this child’s evaluation treatment, a hair mineral analysis had never been performed. Since the child had always been a fussy eater, his daily diet consisted of tuna fish sandwiches and huge amounts of soymilk. A subsequent hair mineral analysis showed very high mercury levels.

Biochemically, mercury compounds readily react with sulfhydryl groups in proteins and inhibit important enzyme activities. Both organic and inorganic mercury compounds are highly toxic to humans and animals, yet the present worldwide production of this toxic element is in excess of 10,000 tons per year and the toxic by-products of this heavy metal industry are a well documented danger to the environment. Frequent consumption of large fish such as tuna, shark or swordfish caught in contaminated waters can cause considerable mercury accumulation in tissue. It is a well known fact that insoluble mercury compounds in industrial waste are discharged into rivers an lakes, because it is incorrectly assumed that these compounds remain insoluble and thus non-toxic. In fact, it has been proven that soluble compounds which are absorbed by fish and plants enter the human food chain. Methyl mercury, a compound which is easily absorbed and deposited in the brain, causes CNS disorder and paralysis.

Reprinted from: Townsend Letters for Doctors and Patients, June 2000, as reprinted in Extended Health Newsletter

PRESS RELEASE: August 2, 2000 Content: Charles Brown, (202) 462-8800

Judge blocks Maryland Dental Board from gagging dentists who discuss risks of mercury fillings.

Mercury, the most toxic nonradioactive element, is now disfavored in virtually every health use. Mercurochrome is banned. Mercury preservatives have been ordered removed from vaccines, and were earlier taken out of contact lens solutions. Some cities have banned the use of mercury thermometers. The American Public Health Association and the California Medical Association have condemned all mercury use in health care.

Reprinted from: The International DAMS Newsletter, Vol. 11 (1), March 2000, as reprinted in Extended Health Newsletter