5 Scary Truths About Mercury

by Dr. Edward Group DC, NP, DACBN, DCBCN, DABFM Published on , Last Updated on

mercury-liquid

In a short period of time, we’ve come a long way in understanding and recognizing the health dangers of mercury. It wasn’t but just a generation or two ago that nearly every kid in school played with mercury in science class. Now, fortunately, we understand its danger and are a little less flagrant… but not completely. Mercury continues to be a serious health danger; let’s take a look at five scary truths about mercury.

1. Mercury is Toxic to the Brain

There’s absolutely no question about it and even the EPA and CDC agree — mercury damages the human brain. The research clearly shows that mercury exposure negatively affects short- and long-term memory, spatial reasoning, and attention. [1] It’s even been linked to dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. [2] [3] [4] If you value your mental abilities, you need to avoid mercury. But, that can be tough since…

2. Mercury is Everywhere

Mercury is as common to the manufacturing industry as water is to the ocean. Just because we’re aware of its damaging effects doesn’t mean its use has been discontinued, not at all. Batteries, fluorescent and CFL light bulbs, and LCDs, just to name a scant few, all contain mercury. It’s a pollutant that’s completely overtaken the environment. In fact, recent research has discovered two-and-a-half times more mercury in the environment than previously thought. [5] Unfortunately, the sources are many — mining, latex paint, the manufacturing of vinyl and plastics, even dental fillings! [6] Do you see the vastness of this problem?

3. Mercury Has Polluted Our Waterways

You’d have to be living under a rock to be unaware that mercury has totally contaminated seafood. This is not a problem without consequence. Recently, in Minnesota, state health officials reported 1 in 100 infants had mercury levels high enough to cause brain damage. [7] And, a test of residents in Michigan found those who consumed locally-caught fish had higher than average levels of mercury. [8] It’s an absolute disgrace.

4. Dentists Are Part of the Problem

If you’ve gotten a tooth filled, there’s a chance you’ve got mercury in your head. According to the EPA, 120,000 dental offices in the United States use mercury in amalgam fillings. [9] What’s worse is that nearly all of these offices dump contaminated waste water into the public water supply. [10] What’s really tragic is how preventable it is, and only 40-50% of the dentists in the US use amalgam separators — the rest are knowingly and foolishly releasing mercury into the water supply.

5. Goods Made in China May Contain Mercury

In 1999, China accounted for 28% of the world’s mercury pollution; currently, China produces about 75% of the world’s mercury. [11] [12] In an area called Wanshan, mercury pollution has reached 278.5 mg of mercury per kilogram of soil. To put this into perspective, the standard, acceptable level is 1.5 mg per kilogram. [13] The Chinese government claims to have taken steps to address the excessive pollution; however, with mercury pollution rampant throughout China, you may want to think twice about buying and consuming any products (especially food and nutritional supplements) from China… before the mercury overtakes your brain and your ability to think, that is.

Avoid Mercury!

The human body is great at naturally cleansing itself and keeping up with environmental toxins, but mercury is a real devastator. It’s exceptionally damaging to the brain and, since it drains glutathione levels, the liver, too. Drink purified water, avoid vaccinations that contain mercury, eat a diet that supports your liver and brain health, and educate yourself about the hidden sources of mercury.

What do you know about mercury that you can add to the conversation? Leave a comment below and share your thoughts with us!

References:

  1. Katamanova EV, Shevchenko OI, Lakhman OL, Denisova IA. Cognitive disorders in patients with chronic mercury intoxication. Med Tr Prom Ekol. 2014;(4):7-12.
  2. Cave M1, Appana S, Patel M, Falkner KC, McClain CJ, Brock G. Polychlorinated biphenyls, lead, and mercury are associated with liver disease in American adults. Environ Health Perspect. 2010 Dec;118(12):1735-42. doi: 10.1289/ehp.1002720.
  3. Butterworth RF1. Metal toxicity, liver disease and neurodegeneration. Neurotox Res. 2010 Jul;18(1):100-5. doi: 10.1007/s12640-010-9185-z.
  4. Elizabeth Grossman. Time after Time: Environmental Influences on the Aging Brain. Environ Health Perspect; DOI:10.1289/ehp.122-A238.
  5. Erik Stokstad. More than twice as much mercury in environment as thought. Science Mag.
  6. EPA. Cleaning Up a Broken CFL. Environmental Protection Agency Fact Sheet.
  7. Tony Kennedy. State, tribe and environmental groups fight over mercury in St. Louis River. Star Tribune.
  8. Danielle Woodward. Michigan, New York, Minnesota test fisheater’s blood for contaminants. Great Lakes Echo.
  9. Janice Neumann. Fishery mislabeling could mean more mercury than buyers bargain for. Reuters.
  10. CVBT. Open wide, Doc: EPA wants that excess mercury. Central Valley Business Times.
  11. Hepeng Jia. China blamed for mercury on iconic Mount Fuji. The Royal Society of Chemistry.
  12. PR Web. China Leads Global Mercury Market in terms of Production, States Merchant Research & Consulting in its Topical Report. Press Release.
  13. Chu Han. The human cost of living in the ‘mercury capital’ of China. China Dialogue.

References (13)
  1. Katamanova EV, Shevchenko OI, Lakhman OL, Denisova IA. Cognitive disorders in patients with chronic mercury intoxication. Med Tr Prom Ekol. 2014;(4):7-12.
  2. Cave M1, Appana S, Patel M, Falkner KC, McClain CJ, Brock G. Polychlorinated biphenyls, lead, and mercury are associated with liver disease in American adults. Environ Health Perspect. 2010 Dec;118(12):1735-42. doi: 10.1289/ehp.1002720.
  3. Butterworth RF1. Metal toxicity, liver disease and neurodegeneration. Neurotox Res. 2010 Jul;18(1):100-5. doi: 10.1007/s12640-010-9185-z.
  4. Elizabeth Grossman. Time after Time: Environmental Influences on the Aging Brain. Environ Health Perspect; DOI:10.1289/ehp.122-A238.
  5. Erik Stokstad. More than twice as much mercury in environment as thought. Science Mag.
  6. EPA. Cleaning Up a Broken CFL. Environmental Protection Agency Fact Sheet.
  7. Tony Kennedy. State, tribe and environmental groups fight over mercury in St. Louis River. Star Tribune.
  8. Danielle Woodward. Michigan, New York, Minnesota test fisheater’s blood for contaminants. Great Lakes Echo.
  9. Janice Neumann. Fishery mislabeling could mean more mercury than buyers bargain for. Reuters.
  10. CVBT. Open wide, Doc: EPA wants that excess mercury. Central Valley Business Times.
  11. Hepeng Jia. China blamed for mercury on iconic Mount Fuji. The Royal Society of Chemistry.
  12. PR Web. China Leads Global Mercury Market in terms of Production, States Merchant Research & Consulting in its Topical Report. Press Release.
  13. Chu Han. The human cost of living in the 'mercury capital' of China. China Dialogue.

†Results may vary. Information and statements made are for education purposes and are not intended to replace the advice of your doctor. Global Healing Center does not dispense medical advice, prescribe, or diagnose illness. The views and nutritional advice expressed by Global Healing Center are not intended to be a substitute for conventional medical service. If you have a severe medical condition or health concern, see your physician.

  • Arthur Larason

    I did not read anything here that points out the mercury in vaccinations such as worthless flu vaccines.

  • cloudswrest

    Mercury binds very strongly to Selenium (and vice versa) and denatures Selenium compounds in the body. From Wikipedia:

    Mercury is highly reactive with selenium, an essential dietary element required by about 25 genetically distinct enzyme types (selenoenzymes).[19] Among their numerous functions, selenoenzymes prevent and reverse oxidative damage in the brain and endocrine organs. The molecular mechanism of mercury toxicity involves its unique ability to irreversibly inhibit activities of selenoenzymes, such as thioredoxin reductase (IC50 = 9 nM).[20] Although it has many additional functions, thioredoxin reductase restores vitamins C and E, as well as a number of other important antioxidant molecules, back into their reduced forms, enabling them to counteract oxidative damage within body cells.[21] Since the rate of oxygen consumption is particularly high in brain tissues, production of reactive oxygen species (ROS) is accentuated in these vital cells, making them particularly vulnerable to oxidative damage and especially dependent upon the antioxidant protection provided by selenoenzymes. High mercury exposures deplete the amount of cellular selenium available for the biosynthesis of thioredoxin reductase and other selenoenzymes that prevent and reverse oxidative damage,[22] which, if the depletion is severe and long lasting, results in brain cell dysfunctions that can ultimately cause death.

  • Rainbowstew

    I thought most dentists were no longer using mercury in fillings.

  • anarchyst

    Metallic mercury is not a problem…it is when mercury is heated to above 600 degrees F. that the vapors become hazardous.
    Mercury compounds are another issue and are hazardous…

  • Ken Lowder

    Now go out and get your Mercury laden flu shot. Even though it’s not effective against the current flu strain, it’s better than nothing, according to the CDC.

  • Cameron

    At last, some truth about mercury!

  • Lucy

    One of the highest concentrations of mercury is in vaccines. Funny how that was left out of the article. Maybe this study was funded by big pharma?

  • Skijo

    Fairly good summarizing article. I almost died from mercury toxicity, but when I got my fillings removed and my body detoxed of the metal, I returned to perfect health very quickly, and many other health problems I had that I didn’t think were related, went away.

  • That’s another scary truth… this list is just a snapshot into the many bad truths about mercury but not all of them 😉

  • oldbill

    When I was growing up, Mercury was medicine. Mercurochrome and merthiolate were typical topical antiseptics because tincture of iodine really hurt! We played with mercury because it was shinny and fun, especially to put on silver coins. I have twenty amalgam fillings, the last put in only three years ago. I debated with my dentist about composite.
    “How old is this broken filling?” “50 years.” “A composite may only last twenty years, and it is twice as expensive.” “Let’s do the amalgam.”
    I guess I am part of the problem.
    I was reading the other day that cremation now puts more mercury in the environment than coal fired plants and dentists combined. The only other major source is field gold refinement in third world countries. Gold dissolves in mercury. The mercury is then burned off leaving the gold.

  • Michael Berman

    Since Hg in all its forms seriously consumes a large amount of our glutathione, I think we should be all be taking some amounts of NAC or N-acetylcysteine perhaps at least 500 mg per day since NAC is a precursor to the synthesis of glutathione!

  • Tara McDonald

    I am using Advanced TRS spray in my family to remove mercury and aluminum. I like it a LOT.

  • Damien Mooney

    It’s not a study you moron it’s an article.


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