image
image
image



            


Environmental Toxins


Learn how environmental toxins affect our air, our water, our food and our bodies.  And the risks that we are exposed to daily, and how to counter react these toxins. 

 

 


Introduction

www.lesstoxicguide

We live in a chemical world. Over 50,000 chemicals have entered daily use since World War II, many of them found in the products we use every day to clean and beautify our bodies and our homes. Some of these chemicals are linked to cancer; others may disrupt the delicate endocrine system; and others may compromise our immune system or our central nervous system.

Scientists are increasingly concerned that long-term low-level exposures to chemicals create a variety of health risks. They also worry that we do not yet know the impact of living with the cocktail of chemicals found in household air and dust.  Testing for human health effects is normally done on single chemicals, but in the real world, we are all exposed to a variety of chemicals every single day.

Identifying less toxic products among the thousands of products lining the shelves of grocery stores, pharmacies and health food stores, garden centers and home improvement stores can be difficult. 

Many people assume that “if it was bad for us, the government would not allow it to be sold.” But we know that regulatory bodies are slow to act. Legislation governing pest control products was only amended in 2002, after over 30 years without change. And Health Canada has been slow to restrict many chemicals currently in use, including known or suspected carcinogens, hormone disruptors and reproductive toxins. It maintains a ‘hot list’ of chemicals restricted in cosmetics, but even chemicals, officially declared "toxic", including known carcinogens such as hydroquinone, are still allowed in personal care products. Evaluating and regulating all the chemicals we use in our daily lives is a slow process and past experiences in regulating lead in gasoline, tobacco and lawn pesticides tells us that the companies which produce these products won’t take attempts to limit their use quietly.

In choosing the products we use on our bodies and in and around our homes WE are the ones in control. We can make informed choices for the sake of our own health and the health of our families. And in most cases, what is less toxic for us is also less toxic for the natural environment.

top


Alarming Statistics

ndnr.com - Copyright Naturopathic Doctor News & Review. All Rights reserved

As far as other environmental toxins, the list of detrimental chemicals continues to increase. The 2010 release of the Fourth National Report on Human Exposure to Environmental Chemicals by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention7 provided a 529-page comprehensive data assessment on the burden of chemicals to the health of the US population. Among the chemicals included in the list were metals, herbicides, fungicides, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, and parabens.

For the first time in the CDC’s biannual 2-year report, 75 new chemicals were found in urine and serum samples of 2400 participants. New chemicals that were included in this compilation were acrylamide, arsenic, environmental phenols (including bisphenol A and triclosan), and perchlorateorate. The burden on our patients is likely extreme, as the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey reported an estimated average of 212 chemicals in any one person’s blood or urine sample.7

This translates to an increasing burden on all the major organs of elimination, including lungs, kidneys, liver, colon, and skin. What is of more concern is that, as our population becomes sicker, they face greater exposure. Therefore, it is important that we protect ourselves and our patients from these factors as a form of preventive medicine. Here is where our nature roots can gleam: the often-criticized obsession with the gut may be our biggest tool to eradicate this major stressor in an overwhelmed population. A place to start is where most major detoxification occurs, the liver.

www.psr.org - Copyright  Physicians for Social Responsibility

The Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) is the principle law for managing chemicals in the U.S. This law was enacted in 1976 to provide a regulatory frame work for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to address chemicals throughout their life cycle.

TSCA was heralded as a major step forward in providing urgently needed authority to protect human health and the environment from dangerous chemicals. However, 34 years on, policy makers and public health experts agree that TSCA has failed.

One of the failings of TSCA is that it lacks mandatory safety requirements before a chemical can gain access to market. TSCA gives legal authority to the EPA to ban the manufacture and import of those chemicals that pose an unreasonable risk to human health or the environment. However, when TSCA was enacted it grandfathered in 62,000 chemicals in use at that time (“existing chemicals”), and since then, less than 200 of these have been tested for human safety -- while only five have been banned since 1990. In fact, the EPA has reviewed the human health risks of only an estimated 2% of the 62,000 chemicals that were in use in 1976. Consequently, the vast majority of existing chemicals have never been evaluated for potential toxicity (beyond acute toxicity) to infants, children, developing fetuses, or adults

EPA’s 1998 Chemical Hazard Data Availability Study revealed that although nearly 3,000 chemicals have High Production Volume status in the United States (defined by the EPA as imported or produced at one million pounds per year or more), complete basic toxicity profiles (covering acute, sub-chronic, chronic, developmental, and reproductive toxicity, as well as mutagenicity) were available for only 7% of these.

 

www.doctoroz.com Harpo, Inc., All Rights Reserved

...Approximately 46% dentists in the United States still use mercury-containing dental amalgam… Once believed to be “locked into the filling itself,” mercury vapor is now widely recognized to be emitted from the filling surface

A 2006 poll of 2,590 US adults found that 72% of respondents were not aware that mercury was a main component of dental amalgam, and 92% of respondents would prefer to be told about mercury in dental amalgam before receiving it as a filling...

In 1991, the World Health Organization (WHO) confirmed that mercury contained in dental amalgam is the greatest source of mercury vapor in non-industrialized settings, exposing the concerned population to mercury levels significantly exceeding those set for food and for air. WHO also went on to state that mercury contained in dental amalgam and in laboratory and medical devices accounts for about 53% of total mercury emissions –  and about one-third of the mercury in the sewage system comes from dental amalgam flushed down the drain.

Reference - www.mercurypolicy.org - Mercury Policy Project 

 

 

Dental mercury releases from clinics are the largest contributor of mercury to municipal wastewater treatment plants in the U.S. and are a significant contributor of mercury emissions to the environment and the fish Americans eat. Between 25 and 34 tons of mercury are used in mercury-based dental fillings each year to fill tooth cavities, and half of all mercury still used in commerce is in Americans’ mouths -- about 1,000 tons.

 

ndnr.com - Copyright Naturopathic Doctor News & Review

The Environmental Protection Agency states the following in their Chemical Hazard Data Availability Study: [O]f the 3,000 chemicals that the US imports or produces at more than 1 million lbs/yr, a new EPA analysis finds that 43% of these high production volume chemicals have no testing data on basic toxicity and only seven percent have a full set of basic test data. This lack of test data compromises the public’s right to know about the chemicals that are found in their environment, their homes, their workplace, and the products that they buy. Industry must do more to ensure that basic information is available on every high-production chemical they manufacture.

Reference - www.scientificamerican.com reports,

United Nations Panel Calls Hormone Disruptors a "Global Threat" - An international team of experts reported today that evidence linking hormone-mimicking chemicals to human health problems has grown stronger over the past decade, becoming a "global threat" that should be addressed.

Reference source - www.eurekalert.org

 

Mercury contamination of fish warrants worldwide public warning: The health risks posed by mercury contaminated fish is sufficient to warrant issuing a worldwide general warning to the public — especially children and women of childbearing age-to be careful about how much and which fish they eat.

www.webmd.com WebMD, LLC. All rights reserved.

Thanks to an electronic database, the researchers were able to track the CT histories of more than 31,400 patients who had a CT scan in 2007 at Brigham and Women’s Hospital or Harvard’s Dana-Farber Cancer Center. They found that:

  • 5% of the patients in the study had received more than 22 CT scans, and 1% had received more than 38 examinations.

  • 15% of the patients had received estimated cumulative radiation doses that were higher than the radiation exposure from 1,000 chest X-rays.

  • 4% of patients had lifetime exposures equivalent to 2,500 conventional chest X-rays.

Using a cancer risk assessment model, the researchers found that 7.3% of the study participants had an elevated risk of cancer because of radiation from CT scans.

The risk was very small for most patients, totaling just 1% over the average lifetime risk of 42%.

But about 1% of the patients in the study had CT-related elevations in risk of between 2.7% and 12%.



top


What Is Environmental Medicine
image
www.aaemonline.org -
by American Academy of Environmental Medicine

Simply stated, Environmental Medicine is concerned with the interaction between mankind and the environment. More specifically, Environmental Medicine involves the adverse reactions experienced by an individual on exposure to an environmental excitant. Excitants to which individual susceptibility exists are found in air, food, water, and drugs, and are frequently found in the home, work, school, and play environments. Exposures to these agents may adversely affect one or more organ system and this effect is commonly not recognized by individuals and their physicians.

Environmental Medicine offers a sweeping reinterpretation of medical thinking, especially in its approach to many previously unexplained and ineffectively treated chronic diseases. The basis of this view is the simple concept that there are causes for all illnesses, and the obvious but not well accepted fact, that what we eat or are exposed to in our environment, has a direct effect upon our health.

The basic theories of Environmental Medicine include the "total load" concept, individual susceptibility, and adaptation. The "total load" concept postulates that multiple and chronic environmental exposures in a susceptible individual contribute to a breakdown of that person's homeostatic mechanisms. Rarely is there only one offending agent responsible for causing a diseased condition. Multiple factors co-exist, usually over a prolonged period of time in bringing about the disease process. Individual susceptibility to environmental agents occurs for a variety of reasons including genetic predisposition, gender, nutritional status, level of exposures to offending substances, infectious processes, and emotional and physical stress. Adaptation is defined as the ability of an organism to adjust to gradually chaning sustained circumstances of its existence. Maladaptation would be a breakdown of the adaptive mechanism.

The American Academy of Environmental Medicine was founded in 1965, and is an international association of physicians and other professionals interested in the clinical aspects of man and his environment. The Academy is interested in expanding the knowledge of interactions between human individuals and their environment, as these may be demonstrated to be reflected in their total health.

The Academy of Firsts: The founders and members of the American Academy of Environmental Medicine are recognized as the first to describe or the first organization to acknowledge ...

  • Serial Dilution Endpoint Titration
  • Sublingual Immunotherapy
  • Optimal Dose Immunotherapy
  • Food Allergy/Addiction
  • Provocation/Neutralization
  • Avoidance/Reintroduction Challenge Testing
  • Rotary Diversified Diet
  • Chemical Sensitivity (MCS)
  • Total Load Phenomenon
  • Environmental Control in the Home, Workplace, and Hospital
  • Chemically Less-Contaminated Foods
  • Sauna Depuration
  • Hepatic Detoxication Enhancement
  • Gulf War Syndrome
  • Endocrine Mimicry Disorders
  • The Role of Mold in the Development of Systemic Illness
  • Yeast Syndrome
  • CFID/FMS

Search this site for a practitioner in your area.

www.bastyr.edu

For naturopathic medicine, which emphasizes the interconnected nature of health, environmental medicine is a natural fit. At Bastyr, that’s reflected in classes, clinical research, and focused clinical care that helps patients find protection and healing from environmental dangers.

John Hibbs, ND, a member of Bastyr’s second graduating class in 1983, has seen environmental medicine move from a fringe specialty to an increasingly central part of 21st century health care. As Bastyr’s most senior faculty member, he trains graduates to contribute to that field.

"We're on the verge of realizing as a medical culture that detoxification therapies need to be a part of our lives," he says. "We've created a fairly toxic world, and we need to take steps in order to be well and prevent illness. But I believe we can teach this in a positive, non-scary way, because it's so doable."

 

top


Top 10 Things You Can Do To “Practice Prevention” 

Retrieved from - www.healthandenvironment.org

  1. Buy non-toxic products for your home. Many products that people use in their home surprisingly contain highly toxic materials. Fortunately, non-toxic alternatives for most of these products exist. Buy less toxic cleaning products. Avoid pesticides. Replace mercury thermometers with digital ones. For other specific suggestions and alternatives, see the “Practice Prevention” columns on www.iceh.org as well as other resources and fact sheets on www.watoxics.org and www.checnet.org.

  2. Keep indoor environments healthy. Pesticides and other toxic chemicals can be tracked in from the outdoors onto the floors where children play. Wipe shoes on doormats and leave them at the door. Also vacuum regularly with a HEPA (High Efficiency Particulate Air) filter vacuum. Old vacuums can blow contaminated dust from the carpet out into the air. Dust particles can be inhaled and ingested after settling on food, hands and furniture.

  3. Don’t reheat or microwave foods in plastic containers. Many plastics when heated leech toxins that can cause reproductive disorders and cancer and disrupt the hormone messaging system in the body. For further information and to find out which plastics appear to be safer, see: www.ecologycenter.org/ptf/toxins.html.

  4. Eat lower on the food chain. Many toxics bioaccumulate up the food chain and are stored in fatty tissues. Choose low-fat dairy, remove the fat from meats, and substitute grains, beans and vegetables whenever possible.

  5. Buy organic and local. Whenever possible, buy organic and locally grown foods. Organic foods are grown without highly hazardous pesticides and eating organic lowers your exposure to pesticides. Buying locally grown foods means you are supporting regional farmers and not using limited natural resources to truck or ship food in. Visit www.foodnews.org to learn more about organic, and www.seattletilth.org for more information about local options.

  6. Dispose of household toxic products properly. Many items in our homes - from paints to pesticides, batteries, and even energy-efficient compact fluorescent light bulbs - contain toxic ingredients. Be sure to dispose of these items properly, which generally means dropping them off at your local household hazardous waste site. See http://1800recycle.wa.gov for the site closest to you.

  7. Become a member of an organization or volunteer with your favorite organization. There are dozens of effective organizations working in Washington state to protect our health environment. A little bit of money goes a long way for all of these groups. Visit www.esw.org for a listing of some of these organizations. In addition, every organization working to protect public health has a long list of things that it needs help with, from pulling invasive weeds to stuffing envelopes, from legal research to making phone calls. Contact your favorite organization and see what help they need. Volunteers make a huge difference.

  8. Educate yourself about the issues. There is a vast amount of information available about toxic pollution and its impacts on human health and the environment. Take the time to read up on the issues and educate yourself. For the latest news, see www.environmentalhealthnews.org.

  9. Become a community organizer. Many communities are no longer using pesticides on public parks and recreational areas and are asking school districts to use integrated pest management practices. For information about how you can take steps in your community, see www.beyondpesticides.org, www.watoxics.org and www.chej.org.

  10. Take action to eliminate persistent toxic chemicals including mercury, PCBs, dioxin, and PBDEs in Washington. The state legislature is debating funding for a critical program to eliminate some of the most dangerous chemicals on the planet. Contact your legislators and urge them to support this program. See www.watoxics.org for more information.

Download pdf file - Top 10 Things You Can Do To "Practice Prevention"

top


Heavy Metals Lab Results for Off-the-Shelf Food Products

Retrieved from labs.naturalnews.com - News-2014-01-08

TUCSON, Ariz., Jan. 8, 2014 -- In conjunction with the non-profit Consumer Wellness Center (ConsumerWellness.org), Natural News (NaturalNews.com) has begun publishing heavy metals lab reports for off-the-shelf food products. With industrial pollution worsening and many "organic" foods now imported from China, heavy metals and toxic elements are increasingly being found in foods purchased by consumers, including some certified organic foods.

Through NaturalNews.com, heavy metals lab results are available free to the public and include parts per billion (ppb) concentrations of Aluminum, Arsenic, Cadmium, Mercury, Lead and Copper. Due to concerns about foods absorbing radioactive fallout from the Fukushima catastrophe, results for Cesium and Uranium are also included. Toxic elements are linked to diseases like cancer, Alzheimer's, schizophrenia, kidney failure, cognitive impairment, birth defects, hardening of the arteries and more.

Testing is conducted via ICP-MS (Inductively Coupled Plasma Mass Spectrometry), using high-level analytical chemistry and cutting edge scientific instrumentation.

Foods being tested by the CWC include fast foods, conventional grocery products, breakfast cereals, superfoods, protein powders, infant formula, packaged meats, dairy products, sodas, teas and dietary supplements. A small selection of lab results is already published, with dozens more posted each week. Results are available now at:

labs.naturalnews.com

top


The Impacts of GMOs on the Environment

www.nongmoproject.org NON-GMO PROJECT

Over 80% of all GMOs grown worldwide are engineered for herbicide tolerance. As a result, use of toxic herbicides like Roundup has increased 15 times since GMOs were introduced. GMO crops are also responsible for the emergence of “super weeds” and “super bugs:’ which can only be killed with ever more toxic poisons like 2,4-D (a major ingredient in Agent Orange). GMOs are a direct extension of chemical agriculture, and are developed and sold by the world’s biggest chemical companies. The long-term impacts of GMOs are unknown, and once released into the environment these novel organisms cannot be recalled.

www.globalresearch.ca - death-of-the-bees-genetically-modified-crops-and-the-decline-of-bee-colonies-in-north-america reports,

This article was originally published by Global Research in March 2008 - Commercial beehives pollinate over a third of [North}America’s crops and that web of nourishment encompasses everything from fruits like peaches, apples, cherries, strawberries and more, to nuts like California almonds, 90 percent of which are helped along by the honeybees. Without this pollination, you could kiss those crops goodbye, to say nothing of the honey bees produce or the flowers they also fertilize’.1

This essay will discuss the arguments and seriousness pertaining to the massive deaths and the decline of Bee colonies in North America. As well, it will shed light on a worldwide hunger issue that will have an economical and ecological impact in the very near future

There are many reasons given to the decline in Bees, but one argument that matters most is the use of Genetically Modified Organisms (GMO) and "Terminator Seeds" that are presently being endorsed by governments and forcefully utilized as our primary agricultural needs of survival. I will argue what is publicized and covered by the media is in actuality masking the real forces at work, namely the impact of genetically modified seeds on the reproduction of bee colonies across North America.

Genetically modified seeds are produced and distributed by powerful biotech conglomerates. The latter manipulate government agricultural policy with a view to supporting their agenda of dominance in the agricultural industry. American conglomerates such as Monsanto, Pioneer Hybrid and others, have created seeds that reproduce only under certain conditions, often linked to the use of their own brands of fertilizer and/or insecticide.  
 
The genetic modification of the plant leads to the concurrent genetic modification of the flower pollen. When the flower pollen becomes genetically modified or sterile, the bees will potentially go malnourished and die of illness due to the lack of nutrients and the interruption of the digestive capacity of what they feed on through the summer and over the winter hibernation process...

I will argue that the media reports tend to distract public opinion from the true cause which underlies the destruction of bee colonies. As such, outlined are four major arguments which the biotech conglomerates (which produce and market GMO seeds) have used to mislead the public regarding the demise of the bees. These arguments include Varroa mites, parasites, cell phones, and terminator seeds

The Ecological Impact of horizontal gene transfer and increase of rampant disease is not fully examined and if so, is kept silent by these Conglomerates. The Economic impact of the bee colony collapse would mean inflation, scarcity of agricultural commodities, and ultimately the collapse of North American agriculture.

The Environmental Impact of scarcity and increased demand for resources, will beyond doubt have severe repercussions for our long-term food security.  The bio-diversity of the bees causes positive economic and ecological externalities. The negative externalities have yet to be fully grasped or understood.

Organic crops still relatively untouched: The truth is that organic farming is relatively untouched as the bee crisis is concerned. Organic farming maintains the diversity of the eco-system and preserves the quality of the foods produced. The economic impact that the scarcity of bees will potentially have on our society as a whole is very worrisome. In the end, only our children will fully realize; that it was greed that destroyed our beautiful blue planet.

www.thelibertybeacon.com - 2013/02/18 epa-approved-gmo-insecticide-responsible-for-killing-off-bees-puts-entire-food-chain-at-risk - reports,

New information has come out that links an insecticide approved by the EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) to killing off millions of Bees and puts food chain at risk. In early 2011 several leaked documents obtained by a Colorado beekeeper brought light to the fact that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency‘s (EPA) illegitimate approval of Clothianidin, an extremely toxic pesticide made by Bayer CropScience, came regardless of the fact the agency knew it was capable of killing off Bees. As a new study emerges from Purdue University, not only is it 100% confirmed that Clothianidin is killing bees, but also that Clothinaidin’s toxicity is now found throughout the entire food chain.

More from Natural News: The study, which was published in the online journalPLoS ONE, investigated the various methods and routes by which a class of insecticides known as neonicotinoids, which includes clothianidin, are harming honey bees. They discovered that both clothianidin and thiamethoxam, another component of neonicotinoid insecticides, persist in “extremely high levels” in planter exhaust material produced during the planting of crops treated with these insecticides, which runs contrary to industry claims that the chemicals biodegrade and are not a threat.

The research team also found neonicotinoid compounds in soil, including in fields where the chemicals were not even sprayed, as well as on various plants and flowers visited by bees. Based on their analysis, the researchers involved with the study determined that bees actively transfer contaminated pollen from primarily neonicotinoid-treated corn crops, and bring it back to their hives. The bees also transfer neonicotinoid compounds to other plants and crops not treated with the chemicals, which shows just how persistent these chemicals truly are in the environment. Read the entire report at  www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov

www.washingtonpost.com - 2013/05/03 - why-are-bees-dying-the-u-s-and-europe-have-different-theories reports,

The mysterious collapse of bee colonies around the world has turned into a real crisis. In the United States, domesticated bee populations have reached a 50-year low and keep dwindling. The situation is just as dire in many other countries.

And that’s bad news for all those crops that depend on bees. The U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization estimates that “out of some 100 crop species which provide 90% of food worldwide, 71 of these are bee-pollinated.” Around the world, these crops are worth at least $207 billion.

So why are bee colonies collapsing? And what’s the best way to halt the decline? As it turns out, regulators in the United States and Europe are taking very different approaches to these questions. The European Union, for its part, is now moving to ban a certain class of pesticides, neonicotinoids, as a precautionary measure...

The European Commission will enact a two-year ban on a class of pesticides thought to be harming global bee populations, the European Union’s health commissioner said Monday... In the United States, by contrast, regulators are moving more slowly. A big new report (pdf) out Thursday from the Agriculture Department and the Environmental Protection Agency argued there were a wide variety of reasons for the disappearance of U.S. honeybees since 2006...As such, U.S. regulators aren’t ready to ban pesticides the way Europe just did. The EPA is slowly conducting a review on the topic that “should be completed in five years.

The link between pesticides and bee die-offs is still subject to some dispute. So, in the face of uncertainty, the European Commission is erring on the side of the environment — voting to ban neonicotinoids for two years just in case they really are to blame for the bee collapse...The United States, meanwhile, is erring on the side of certain economic interests — it’s still not clear that neonicotinoids are to blame, and pesticides are a billion-dollar industry, so regulators are moving slowly in setting restrictions.

www.nationofchange.org - russia-bans-use-and-import-monsanto-s-gmo-corn-following-study

Following the groundbreaking French study that graphically linked the lifetime consumption of Monsanto’s GMO corn in rats to massive tumors and direct organ failure, Russia’s premiere consumers rights organization has suspended both the importation and use of Monsanto’s GMO corn within the nation’s borders.

It seems that France has become somewhat of a consumer health watchdog in more than just one area, simultaneously tackling the issue of pesticide contamination as well. It was even announced that the French government was seeking to ban crop dusters in all areas possible, aiming to reduce the amount of obesity-linked pesticides within the food supply.

Meanwhile, Monsanto is continuing to stick to its tired statements regarding the ‘safety’ of its GMO crops and Roundup herbicide. Instead of discussing not only the French study finding that the company’s GMOs led to horrendous tumors that led to rats literally dragging them along the ground as they walked, they claim that the information ‘does not warrant’ any concern at all from European officials. Just as Monsanto (and the US government) ignored evidence linking Roundup to DNA damage and infertility, it appears they intend to do it once more and hope that it all goes away. Unfortunately for Monsanto, it’s not going away this time.

With Russia now acting to secure food safety, many other nations will surely follow. While the United States may continue to ignore the issues surrounding GMOs and Monsanto’s blatant disregard for human health (they were caught running ‘slave-like’ working rings, after all), many foreign nations will not. Countries like PolandPeru, and Hungary have already taken action in banning or removing Monsanto’s GMO crops.

top


What Are the Hazards of Heavy Metals

Source - www.psr.org - Physicians for Social Responsibility

The term heavy metal refers to any metallic chemical element that has a relatively high density and is toxic or poisonous at low concentrations.  Examples of heavy metals that are harmful to humans include mercury, lead, and arsenic. Chronic exposure to these metals can have serious health consequences. Humans are exposed to heavy metals through inhalation of air pollutants, consumption of contaminated drinking water, exposure to contaminated soils or industrial waste, or consumption of contaminated food. Food sources such as vegetables, grains, fruits, fish and shellfish can become contaminated by accumulating metals from surrounding soil and water. Heavy metal exposure causes serious health effects, including reduced growth and development, cancer, organ damage, nervous system damage, and in extreme cases, death. Exposure to some metals, such as mercury and lead, may also cause development of autoimmunity, in which a person's immune system attacks its own cells. This can lead to joint diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis, and diseases of the kidneys, circulatory system, and nervous system. 

Metals are particularly toxic to the sensitive, rapidly developing systems of fetuses, infants, and young children. Some metals, such as lead and mercury, easily cross the placenta and damage the fetal brain. Childhood exposure to some metals can result in learning difficulties, memory impairment, damage to the nervous system, and behavioral problems such as aggressiveness and hyperactivity. At higher doses, heavy metals can cause irreversible brain damage. Children may receive higher doses of metals from food than adults, since they consume more food for their body weight than adults.

Retrieved from -  www.healthy.net

There are possibly more problems from these metals, which interfere with normal bodily function, than have been considered in most medical circles. Lead, mercury, cadmium, arsenic, and, more recently, aluminum are the main toxic minerals. Beryllium, bismuth, and bromine must be considered as well. And there are other heavy and radioactive metals that could bring future difficulties. At present, these toxic metals have polluted our atmosphere, our waters, our soil, and food chain.

Blood or urine analysis is not very reliable for measuring toxic levels of most of these heavy metals, especially with long-term exposure and tissue buildup. Hair analysis, though controversial, offers the best available evaluation for accumulation of heavy metals, and in many studies, hair levels do correlate fairly well with tissue stores. The heavier the element, the more reliable is the hair analysis. Measuring these toxic minerals is probably the most useful aspect of hair analysis.

Absorption of these metals is usually pretty low as well. But when our natural means of elimination are reduced or our exposure is increased, we may run into trouble. The basic way that these heavy metals cause problems is by displacing or replacing related minerals that are required for essential body functions. For example, cadmium can replace zinc, and lead displaces calcium; when this happens, the cadmium or lead is stored in the bones or other tissues and becomes harder to clear, while the important functions of the minerals that are replaced cannot be carried out.


Reliable online source that outlines in-depth information on heavy metals, sources of contamination and detoxification therapies.

top


How Can I Reduce My Exposure of Heavy Metals?

 

Source - www.saferchemicals.org 2014 Safer Chemicals, Healthy Families

We come into contact with lead, mercury, and arsenic in many ways, but there are some steps we can take to reduce our exposure.

Remove treated wood. Remove wood treated with the preservatives CCA or ACZA, which contain arsenic. If removing arsenic-treated wood is not an option, you can paint or seal the wood to reduce leaching and contact exposure. Choose semi-transparent deck stains for deck surfaces and play structures, and latex paint for fences, tables, and other furniture. Reapply the coating when it shows signs of deterioration.

Choose fish wisely. Avoid fish high in mercury, such as king mackerel, tilefish, swordfish, orange roughy, and marlin. Limit consumption of tuna, especially steaks and canned ‘white’ albacore. Lower-mercury choices include wild salmon, sardines, anchovies, Atlantic herring, Dungeness crab, Pacific cod, Alaskan black cod, farmed striped bass, farmed catfish, clams, mussels, and Pacific oysters.

If you eat sport-caught fish, check for specific guidance on mercury levels in Washington water bodies or coastal waters. Fish and shellfish advisories are available from the Washington State Department of Health

Limiting mercury intake from fish is especially important for young children and women who are pregnant, nursing, or of child-bearing age. You can find additional guidance on fish choices at the following website www.montereybayaquarium.org.

Fish are an excellent source of nutrients, including protein, omega-3 fatty acids, and vitamin D, and we encourage people to continue eating fish following these precautions.

Watch for lead paint. If you live in a home built before 1978, it is likely to contain lead-based paint. If the paint is chipping, peeling, or otherwise deteriorating, or if you want to remodel, hire a certified abatement worker to remove or contain contaminated paint.  Use door mats, remove shoes at the door, and vacuum and clean regularly to reduce lead that accumulates in house dust.

Protect drinking water. Avoid exposure to lead that may be leaching from plumbing by flushing your cold water pipes (run water until it becomes as cold as it will get) before drinking, and only use cold water for drinking or cooking.

Avoid PVC. Choose alternatives to products made of PVC, which often contain lead, especially for items that are likely to come into direct contact with children’s hands and mouths, such as toys, teethers, and lunchboxes. Old toys and furniture made prior to 1978 may also contain lead-based paint. For consumer product safety information and recalls for lead products, visit the Consumer Product Safety Commission’s website.

Watch for lead in dishware. Do not use old, imported, or homemade ceramic dishware, unless you know that the glazes do not contain lead. Avoid leaded crystal, as well as imported food cans, which can contain lead solder.

Make sure medicines are free of toxic metals. Some home remedies, as well as drugs and cosmetics, can contain these metals. Look at ingredient lists, talk to your doctor, and avoid folk remedies and other medicines that contain lead, arsenic, or mercury.

Be cautious with mercury-containing products. When possible, choose products without mercury, such as digital thermostats and thermometers. Be careful not to break fluorescent light bulbs, mercury thermometers, or other household items containing liquid mercury. These products release harmful mercury vapors when broken. If they do break, use appropriate clean-up methods (see the EPA's web site).

Check paints and art supplies. Avoid paints containing mercury compounds, which are still found in some paints as pigments. Also avoid lead solder and artists’ paints and glazes that contain lead. Information on some products containing these ingredients is available from the Household Products Database. Otherwise, ask the manufacturer.

Skip herbicides with arsenic. Avoid arsenic-containing herbicides, which have ingredients listed as monosodium methanearsonate (MSMA), calcium acid methanearsonate, or cacodylic acid.

Consider composite fillings. Consider choosing composite dental fillings rather than mercury-containing amalgam fillings.

top


Vaccine/Immunization Safety Issues

www.thinktwice.com - Thinktwice Global Vaccine Institute Copyright

Toxic Mercury in Vaccines  - Some vaccines contain toxic mercury in the form of thimerosal. Children are susceptible to adverse reactions due to the number of mandated immunizations containing this substance.

Published on Thursday, June 16, 2005 by Salon.com

Deadly Immunity - When a study revealed that mercury in childhood vaccines may have caused autism in thousands of kids, the government rushed to conceal the data -- and to prevent parents from suing drug companies for their role in the epidemic. By Robert F. Kennedy Jr.

According to a CDC epidemiologist named Tom Verstraeten, who had analyzed the agency's massive database containing the medical records of 100,000 children, a mercury-based preservative in the vaccines -- thimerosal -- appeared to be responsible for a dramatic increase in autism and a host of other neurological disorders among children… But instead of taking immediate steps to alert the public and rid the vaccine supply of thimerosal, the officials and executives at Simpsonwood spent most of the next two days discussing how to cover up the damaging data. According to transcripts obtained under the Freedom of Information Act, many at the meeting were concerned about how the damaging revelations about thimerosal would affect the vaccine industry's bottom line…

What is most striking is the lengths to which many of the leading detectives have gone to ignore -- and cover up -- the evidence against thimerosal. From the very beginning, the scientific case against the mercury additive has been overwhelming. The preservative, which is used to stem fungi and bacterial growth in vaccines, contains ethylmercury, a potent neurotoxin. Truckloads of studies have shown that mercury tends to accumulate in the brains of primates and other animals after they are injected with vaccines -- and that the developing brains of infants are particularly susceptible. To read in entirety… http://www.thinktwice.com/Kennedy.pdf

www.thinktwice.com - The Vaccine Safety Manual contains the most extensive information available on both the historical and current use of mercury (thimerosal) in vaccines (including studies linking it to autism and other neurological and immunological disorders).

The Vaccine Safety Manual is the world's most complete guide to immunization risks and protection. It includes pertinent information on every major vaccine: polio, tetanus, MMR, hepatitis A, B, HPV (cervical cancer), Hib, Flu, chickenpox, shingles, rotavirus, pneumococcal, meningococcal, RSV, DTaP, anthrax, smallpox, TB, and more. All of the information, including detailed vaccine safety and efficacy data, is written in an easy-to-understand format, yet includes more than 1,000 scientific citations. More than 100 charts, graphs and illustrations supplement the text. This encyclopedic health manual is an important addition to every family's home library and will be referred to again and again.

top


Mercury In Thermometers 

Retrieved from - watoxics.org - Washington Toxics Coalition

One gram of mercury, like that in a thermometer, is enough to contaminate the fish in a 20-acre lake to the point where they are unsafe for human consumption (Minnesota Pollution Control Agency 1999).

If it is not cleaned up, the mercury will evaporate at room temperature, potentially reaching dangerous levels in indoor air. The risks increase if you clean up the mercury spill with a vacuum cleaner, if the mercury is heated, or if the spill takes place in a small, poorly ventilated room.

How to Clean Up if a Mercury Thermometer Breaks

Every year there are 15,000 calls to poison control centers about broken mercury thermometers (Health Care Without Harm, 2001). If your mercury thermometer breaks, it is very important for the mercury to be cleaned up properly. Follow these steps:

Reference - www.epa.gov

NOTE: these instructions also apply to spills from other sources, if the amount spilled is less than or similar to the amount in a thermometer (see specific information about how to clean up broken fluorescent bulbs)

  • Have everyone else leave the area; don't let anyone walk through the mercury on their way out. Make sure all pets are removed from the area. Open all windows and doors to the outside; shut all doors to other parts of the house.

  • DO NOT allow children to help you clean up the spill.

  • Mercury can be cleaned up easily from the following surfaces: wood, linoleum, tile and any similarly smooth surfaces.

  • If a spill occurs on carpet, curtains, upholstery or other absorbent surfaces, these contaminated items should be thrown away in accordance with the disposal means outlined below. Only cut and remove the affected portion of the contaminated carpet for disposal.

Cleanup Instructions

  1. Put on rubber, nitrile or latex gloves.

  2. If there are any broken pieces of glass or sharp objects, pick them up with care. Place all broken objects on a paper towel. Fold the paper towel and place in a zip lock bag. Secure the bag and label it as directed by your local health or fire department.

  3. Locate visible mercury beads. Use a squeegee or cardboard to gather mercury beads. Use slow sweeping motions to keep mercury from becoming uncontrollable. Take a flashlight, hold it at a low angle close to the floor in a darkened room and look for additional glistening beads of mercury that may be sticking to the surface or in small cracked areas of the surface. Note: Mercury can move surprising distances on hard-flat surfaces, so be sure to inspect the entire room when "searching."

  4. Use the eyedropper to collect or draw up the mercury beads. Slowly and carefully squeeze mercury onto a damp paper towel. Place the paper towel in a zip lock bag and secure. Make sure to label the bag as directed by your local health or fire department.

  5. After you remove larger beads, put shaving cream on top of small paint brush and gently "dot" the affected area to pick up smaller hard-to-see beads. Alternatively, use sticky tape, such as duct tape, to pick up any remaining small glass fragments. Place the paint brush or duct tape in a zip lock bag and secure. Make sure to label the bag as directed by your local health or fire department.

  6. OPTIONAL STEP: It is OPTIONAL to use commercially available powdered sulfur to absorb the beads that are too small to see. The sulfur does two things: (1) it makes the mercury easier to see since there may be a color change from yellow to brown and (2) it binds the mercury so that it can be easily removed and suppresses the vapor of any missing mercury. Where to get commercialized sulfur? It may be supplied as mercury vapor absorbent in mercury spill kits, which can be purchased from laboratory, chemical supply and hazardous materials response supply manufacturers. Note: Powdered sulfur may stain fabrics a dark color. When using powdered sulfur, do not breathe in the powder as it can be moderately toxic. Additionally, users should read and understand product information before use.

  7. If you choose not to use this option, you may want to request the services of a contractor who has monitoring equipment to screen for mercury vapors. Consult your local environmental or health agency to inquire about contractors in your area. Place all materials used with the cleanup, including gloves, in a trash bag. Place all mercury beads and objects into the trash bag. Secure trash bag and label it as directed by your local health or fire department.

  8. Contact your local health department, municipal waste authority or your local fire department for proper disposal in accordance with local, state and federal laws.

    Remember to keep the area well ventilated to the outside (i.e., windows open and fans in exterior windows running) for at least 24 hours after your successful cleanup. Continue to keep pets and children out of cleanup area. If sickness occurs, seek medical attention immediately. View information on health effects related to exposures to vapors from metallic mercury. For additional information on health effects, the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR) provides a Mercury Fact Sheet 

If you have further questions, or if there are young children or pregnant women in the house at the time of the thermometer breakage, please call your local poison control center at 1-800-222-1222.

A variety of mercury-free alternatives are available at your local pharmacy. 

top


Mercury in Drug and Biologic Products 

www.fda.gov

Inorganic mercury compounds take the form of mercury salts. They are generally white powders or crystals, with the exception of mercuric sulfide (cinnabar) which is red. Inorganic compounds and organic compounds (such as phenylmercury acetate and ethylmercury), have been commonly used as fungicides, antiseptics or disinfectants. They have also been used in a variety of products. Most of these uses have been discontinued, but small amounts of these compounds can still be found as preservatives in some medicines. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration maintains a list of medicines that contain mercury.

The mercury ingredients are abbreviated as TM for thimerosal, PMA for phenylmercuric acetate, PMN for phenylmercuric nitrate, MA for mercuric acetate, MN for mercuric nitrate, MB for merbromin, and MOY for mercuric oxide yellow. The list includes nonhomeopathic human and veterinary drug products and human biological products. Homeopathic drug products are not included because of the low amounts of mercury present in the products. The abbreviation NS under the % column means that the information was "not stated" in the agency's Drug Registration and Listing System.

Examples you will find….

Manufacturer

Name of Product

Ingredient

%

CVS

Nasal Spray Pump

PMA

NS

 CVS Revco DS Inc.

12 Hour Decongestant Pump Nasal Spray.

PMA

NS

Click Here to View Complete Listing

Thimerosal content for biological products can be found at  Thimerosal in Vaccines and  Mercury in Plasma-Derived Products.

 

www.mercurypolicy.org Mercury Policy Project 

U.S. House Oversight Hearing Focuses on FDA Regulatory Tools and the Environmental Impacts of Mercury Tooth Fillings: Dental mercury releases from clinics are the largest contributor of mercury to municipal wastewater treatment plants in the U.S. and are a significant contributor of mercury emissions to the environment and the fish Americans eat. Between 25 and 34 tons of mercury are used in mercury-based dental fillings each year to fill tooth cavities, and half of all mercury still used in commerce is in Americans’ mouths -- about 1,000 tons.

The role of mercury tooth fillings, often called amalgams, in dentistry has become an issue of increasing concern for lawmakers recently for both environmental and health reasons. According to a recent article in FDA Week, “Subcommittee members Diane Watson (D-CA) and Dan Burton (R-IN) have pushed for hearings on dental amalgams… The lawmakers reintroduced legislation May 1 that would phase out such amalgams.”  To read more www.mercurypolicy.org

top


Mercury In Amalgam Tooth Filings

www.toxicteeth.org Copyright  Consumers for Dental Choice, Inc.

Dental amalgam is a primitive filling material made of between 43 and 54 percent mercury.  Amalgam fillings are commonly called as “silver fillings” – a marketing term that deceives many consumers into believing that amalgam is mainly silver, which is only a minor component of amalgam. Amalgam is not stable after it is implanted into human teeth – it constantly releases mercury vapor into your body.  And this mercury bioaccumulates.

Retrieved from - iaomt.guiadmin.com - International Academy of Oral Medicine Toxicology 

The-Case-Against-Amalgam.pdf: Dental amalgam has been controversial ever since it was introduced, early in the nineteenth century, because of its mercury content. People of the Napoleonic era knew full well that mercury was poisonous, and the best that anyone has ever claimed about amalgam is that the mercury exposure may be too small to hurt anyone. Over time, though, a great body of evidence has accumulated showing that mercury is release from amalgam in significant quantities, that it spreads around the body, including from mother to fetus, and that the exposure causes physiological harm. A growing number of dentists, physicians, researchers, citizen activists, politicians, and regulators have come to the conclusion that the time has come to consign amalgam to the “dustbin of history.” This article will sketch out the main points of the scientific case against amalgam.

We have accumulated a formidable body of evidence establishing the chain of toxic events:

  • Amalgam releases significant amounts of mercury;

  • The mercury distributes to tissues around the body, and is the biggest source of mercury body burden;

  • The mercury from amalgam crosses the placenta and into breast milk, resulting in significant pre- and post-partum exposures for infants; and

  • Adverse physiological changes occur from that exposure on the immune, renal, reproductive and central nervous systems, as well as the oral and intestinal flora

  • Mercury exposure is known to induce autoimmune reactions in susceptible animals,61 62 63 and one investigation shows the same for amalgam. 

About 27% of US dentists are reported in 2001 to be practicing mercury free.1 To read this article in its entirety…www.iaomt.org -The Case Against Amalgam.pdf

This dramatic video of mercury vapor out gassing from an amalgam dental filling has outraged the world since it was first demonstrated at an IAOMT meeting in 1995. To view video... International Academy of Oral Medicine & Toxicology

top



Why Public Awareness of Amalgam Counts

Retrieved from - mercola.com

Mercury is a neurotoxin, the most toxic and the most volatile of the heavy metals. Dental amalgam is composed of about 50 percent mercury, a well-known neurotoxin. Evidence shows mercury is easily released in the form of vapor each time you eat, drink, brush your teeth or otherwise stimulate your teeth

Oral Health and Overall Health Are Linked - Holistic dentists, also called biological dentists, view your teeth and gums as an integrated part of your entire body, meaning that oral health problems can be linked to overall health problems and vice versa. For example, they know that putting a toxin, like the mercury in amalgam fillings, into your teeth can be harmful to your overall health.

Like holistic dentists, Consumers for Dental Choice knows that the problems with amalgam fillings go far beyond the tooth, affecting your overall health and well-being in many ways... some more well-known than others. If you are a regular reader, you know amalgam releases mercury – a neurotoxin and reproductive toxin – into your body. But did you know about these other problems caused by the amalgam in your teeth?

  • Environment: Amalgam pollutes 1) water via dental clinic releases and human waste; 2) air via cremation, dental clinic emissions, sludge incineration, and respiration; and 3) land via landfills, burials, and fertilizer. Once in the environment, dental mercury converts to its even more toxic form: methylmercury and becomes a major source of mercury in the fish people eat. Dental mercury in the environment can cause brain damage and neurological problems, especially for children and the unborn babies, according to the United States Environmental Protection Agency.

  • Workplace: Due to mercury exposure from amalgam in the workplace, studies have shown that dental workers have elevated systemic mercury levels. Few of these dental workers – mostly women of child-bearing age - are given protective garb or air masks to minimize their exposure to mercury; many are not aware of the risks of occupational mercury exposure. As a result, dental workers have reported neurological problems, reproductive failures, and birth defects caused by amalgam in the workplace.

And the amalgam problem even goes beyond mercury…

  • Broken teeth: Placing amalgam requires the removal of a significant amount of healthy tooth matter. This removal, in turn, weakens overall tooth structure which increases the need for future dental work. On top of that, amalgam fillings - which expand and contract over time - crack teeth and once again create the need for still more dental work.

  • Consent: Most dentists do not inform consumers that amalgam contains mercury. As a result, over 76% of consumers do not know that amalgam is mainly mercury according to Zogby polls. But once they are informed, 77% of people do not want mercury fillings - and they were even willing to pay more to avoid this unnecessary source of mercury exposure.

Retrieved from www.doctoroz.com

Mercury use in health, consumer, and industrial products has declined precipitously in all products over the past 30 years, but in dentistry, this decline has only been slight, such that dental fillings jumped from 2% of all mercury products two decades ago to over 20% in 2001. In 1991, the World Health Organization (WHO) confirmed that mercury contained in dental amalgam is the greatest source of mercury vapor in non-industrialized settings, exposing the concerned population to mercury levels significantly exceeding those set for food and for air. WHO also went on to state that mercury contained in dental amalgam and in laboratory and medical devices accounts for about 53% of total mercury emissions –  and about one-third of the mercury in the sewage system comes from dental amalgam flushed down the drain.

The Association of Metropolitan Sewerage Agencies (AMSA) studied seven major waste-water treatment plants and found that dental uses were "by far" the greatest contributors of mercury load, on average contributing 40%, over 3 times the next greatest contributor. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) also declared that dental amalgam is a major source of mercury contamination in waste-water.

The health debate surrounding mercury-containing fillings is equally concerning and confusing. Peer-reviewed scientific studies have come to opposite conclusions on whether the mercury exposure from amalgam fillings causes health problems. While it would be appropriate that any medical device should be proven 100% safe BEFORE being placed in the human body, and all potential health concerns from a known toxic environmental hazard be fully investigated, dental amalgam continues to be used until enough ongoing research is accepted proving it is unsafe and unsuitable...

A 2003 monograph on mercury toxicity from the World Health Organization (WHO) concluded that studies on humans and animals demonstrated that dental amalgam contributes significantly to mercury body burden in humans with amalgam fillings, and dental amalgam is the most common form of exposure to elemental mercury in the general population.

www.icnr.com - International Center for Nutritional Research Copyright 1996-2013

While the dental amalgam filling, which is half mercury, has been banned in Norway and Sweden, in the USA, the American Dental Association and the FDA continue to defend the use of the amalgam mercury filling, despite the clinical evidence of harm caused by amalgams and the heavy weight of scientific studies that show that amalgams expose patients to unacceptably large amounts of mercury and tend to harm health

top


Symptoms of Amalgam / Mercury Toxicity

Dental amalgam fillings act as a time-release poison – the poison being mercury. The other metals in amalgam, namely copper, tin, silver and zinc also have some toxicity in their elemental forms, adding to the hazard of amalgam. Early symptoms of amalgam / mercury toxicity include fatigue, low thyroid function (sluggishness, weight gain, loss of sex drive, rough skin, weakened immunity, and more), and depression (including anxiety, panic attacks, shyness, irritability, unprovoked anger). Mercury and mercury amalgams tend to promote fungal yeast infections, which can show up as indigestions and bloating, ear and sinus infections, vaginal yeast infections, toenail fungus, psoriasis, brain fog, short-term memory problems.

www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov

The findings presented here suggest that mercury poisoning from dental amalgam may play a role in the etiology of mental illness. Comparisons between subjects with and without amalgam showed significant differences in subjective reports of mental health. Subjects who had amalgams removed reported that symptoms of mental illness lessened or disappeared after removal. The data suggest that inorganic mercury poisoning from dental amalgam does affect the mind and emotions.

top


How to Test for Mercury Toxicity

Retrieved from - mercola.com

What You Need to Know about Mercury Testing: Traditional mercury testing involves testing either your hair, blood, urine, or stool. Challenge tests that implement a chelating chemical, such as DMPS or DMSA, are also commonly used. However, all of these tests have drawbacks. They primarily measure total mercury load — and inaccurately at that. But most importantly they don’t give you any information about the forms of mercury in your system or how efficiently you are getting rid of them.

Traditional mercury tests don’t answer questions like, how much of your mercury load is from the seafood you eat? How much from amalgams? How well are your kidneys and liver eliminating it?

The two principal forms of mercury accumulate differently in your body, and are eliminated by different pathways. For example, mercury levels in your hair only reflect the mercury from the fish you eat. But mercury levels in your urine reflect the mercury coming from your dental fillings (plus some of the fish-based methylmercury that has broken down into inorganic mercury). The only way to determine if there is a problem is to compare your hair and urine levels with levels in your blood. So, if mercury testing is to be meaningful, it must measure both of the following:

  1. Exposure level: Overall mercury level for each of the two main forms of mercury (methylmercury, related to your fish/seafood consumption, and inorganic mercury, related to dental amalgam exposure)

  2. Excretion ability: How well your body is getting rid of each kind of mercury, regardless of your overall mercury level

A newer testing method called “mercury speciation” does just this — it measures both of these factors. This test uses blood, urine and hair to give you a more comprehensive picture of how your body is eliminating mercury and where the process may be blocked. This information can be immensely helpful in preparing a successful detoxification plan. For more information about mercury speciation testing, refer to my recent interview with Dr. Shade.

Overall CAUTION - It is important to realize that mercury detoxification is a marathon and NOT a sprint. You do NOT want to do this quickly. Even if you believe you are healthy you want to start this process SLOWLY as you could easily cause severe flare ups. I am one of the healthiest people I know and when I did my program I did it over six months. Some people may need to do it far more slowly and may need a few years to effectively eliminate the mercury safely.

top


Considerations for Dental Amalgam Removal


Retrieved from - www.doctoroz.com

A 2006 poll of 2,590 US adults found that 72% of respondents were not aware that mercury was a main component of dental amalgam, and 92% of respondents would prefer to be told about mercury in dental amalgam before receiving it as a filling. This could be compared to being given a drug today by a pharmacy without the mandated FDA prescribing information (contents, possible side effects, etc.). Unfortunately, many dentists continue to place mercury-containing fillings, with many patients remaining uninformed of its mercury content. 

Complicating the matter of mercury-containing fillings is the important fact that the greatest exposure of mercury vapor to the patient (and dentist) is when dental amalgams are first placed in the tooth and when they are removed. 

Here are five top considerations for those who should speak to their dentist about having their amalgam fillings removed, and five top considerations for the best protective measures and nutritional support before and after amalgam removal and replacement.

As I mentioned, the greatest exposure of mercury vapor to the patient (and dentist) is when dental amalgams are first placed in the tooth and when they are removed. If you are concerned about your silver fillings, have your dental team examine your fillings to determine whether or not they are intact, and have a conversation with your dentist about the potential health risks of keeping or removing amalgams. 

  • Patients who have recurrent decay and/or defective margins around their dental amalgam fillings. 

  • Patients who have 8 or more dental amalgam fillings.

  • Patients who have exhibited an allergy or sensitivity to dental amalgam (lymphocyte proliferation test).

  • Patients who have bruxism (grind their teeth).*

  • Patients who consume high quantities of acidic foods and carbonated beverages.*

  • *demonstrated to cause prolonged higher levels of exposure to mercury vapor from dental amalgam restorations.

top


Protective Measures and Nutritional Support for Dental Amalgam Removal

Retrieved from - www.doctoroz.com

  • Your dentist should always use a proper isolation technique with a dental rubber dam to minimize exposure to mercury contact and/or swallowing amalgam debris.

  • Check that the dentist is using a high-speed and low-speed suction device to rapidly remove amalgam, and ask for an oxygen nose mask if available to reduce the risk of inhaling mercury vapor during removal.

  • Take chlorella (fresh water algae tablets or powder), a chlorophyll-rich nutritional supplement shown to assist with mercury (and heavy metals) excretion from the intestines, before and after amalgam replacement.

  • Vitamin C has also been shown to be effective in assisting with mercury elimination. Take after meals and apart from chlorella.  

  • Cilantro is the most celebrated herb to assist with intracellular mercury elimination. 


top


Protocol for Detoxifying Your Body from Mercury Exposure

Retrieved from - mercola.com

Your Most Important Goal: Removing the Source of Exposure

Now that you understand what’s required to eliminate mercury, we can start discussing how to support and augment your body’s natural detoxification apparatus. That is really what “mercury detoxification” is all about — simply helping your own natural detox system to function better. In other words, you must “upregulate” this system.

The very first goal is to plug the hole in your leaking ship. You must remove your source of mercury exposure, whether it’s primarily from the seafood you eat or from amalgams (or both). Mercury speciation testing, as described above, can help you identify which source is problematic. There is little point in embarking on a major detox mission if you continue exposing yourself to the offender... that’s like trying to bail water out of a sinking boat. Avoid the consumption of contaminated fish and seafood.

Most fish and seafood are now contaminated, unfortunately, but some types are worse than others. Avoiding fish is relatively easy, but having your amalgams removed is more involved and costly and must be done with great care. You should do this ONLY with the help of a qualified biological dentist as you can become quite ill if your amalgams are extracted incorrectly…

Before You Do Anything Else, Optimize Your Diet 

...As with nearly every other health challenge, your diet is a critical factor in supporting your body’s detoxification system. In fact, consider dietary optimization the “pretoxification” phase, which should last for two to six weeks before starting the full detoxification phase.

Your goal is to remove inflammatory and allergenic foods such as sugar (especially fructose/HFCS), processed and packaged foods, fast foods, most starch and grain. Your diet should be low in carbohydrates, moderate-to-low in protein, and high in beneficial fats (as high as 50-70 percent). Proteins repair mangled protein molecules and supply sulfur, and fats repair your cell membranes. This type of diet not only prepares your body for detoxification but also has the additional benefit of improving your insulin sensitivity and reversing type 2 diabetes.

I. Boosting Your Glutathione Production

The first requirement for effective mercury detoxification is boosting your glutathione levels. Most forms of oral glutathione are not effective because they are destroyed in the digestive process. But you can consume foods that contain the precursors of glutathione so that your body can make more of it — specifically, cysteine-rich foods. The absolute best source is high quality whey protein. This whey must come from the “clean” milk of organically raised cows, and not have been overly processed, which denatures the fragile proteins.

Just be careful not to consume too much of the whey. For more information on whey, please refer to my interview with Ori Hofmekler, an expert on the health benefits of whey protein. The video below is older than this article but my new position is to be careful with your protein intake and limit the amount you are using.

Additionally, you may want to try liposomal glutathione. Liposomal glutathione is a relatively new form of oral glutathione that is actually well absorbed and eliminates nearly all the concerns previously mentioned with oral glutathione. It’s encapsulated into extremely tiny phospholipid particles, which increase its bioavailability 100-fold.

II. Mobilizing Mercury by Boosting Enzymes and Transport Proteins

Now that your glutathione levels are up, you can work on building up the other parts of your glutathione system — specifically, enzymes and transport proteins. Your natural production of these factors can be augmented with superfoods.

Plants contain thousands of natural chemicals (phytochemicals) that help your body to work properly, including production of enzymes and antioxidants. One group of phytochemicals is the polyphenol group, which actually helps activate health-promoting genes.3 Polyphenols are abundant in a wide range of fruits and vegetables.

Sulfur-based phytonutrients are particularly important in supporting your glutathione system, since glutathione is a sulfur-based molecule.4 Therefore, you should consume vegetables from the cruciferous family (cabbage, garlic, broccoli, cauliflower, kale, collards, radishes, wasabi, etc.), which are rich in sulfur. Fermenting these vegetables is the most nutritious way to consume them.

Garlic is especially powerful, but it’s the oil of the garlic that supports detoxification, not the allicin (which is the compound known for its antimicrobial effect). And you want the smelly kind of garlic — deodorized garlic is useless for detox! Either eat the garlic raw (yes, you have to chew it up), or purchase a garlic oil supplement. Some of the other compounds recommended by Dr. Shade include:

  • Haritaki (Terminalia chebula) extract5: An Ayurvedic fruit used extensively in Tibetan medicine, called the “King of Herbs;” it has potent effects on your glutathione system and on expression of other intracellular antioxidants, such as superoxide dismutase (SOD)

  • Sodium R-lipoic Acid 6 : The most bioavailable and active form of alpha-lipoic acid; also good for increasing insulin sensitivity and treating type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, liver disease, and mitochondrial dysfunction

  • Lumbrokinase7: a enzyme derived from earthworms

  • Pine Bark Extract8: One of the most potent polyphenolic antioxidants; has been found to prolong the activity of vitamin C in your body; good as an adjunct to vitamins C, E and lipoic acid

Your approach with these agents should be to gradually titrate the dose upward to a high therapeutic level, then back it down. It’s best to “pulse” the treatments because your body can’t sustain upregulation for very long. You will be more productive with shorter bursts at an appropriately stout therapeutic dose. This means taking the treatments for a few days, followed by a few days off. Dr. Shade suggests cycling your treatments on the schedule of five days on, two days off (to start), working up to 10 days on, four days off. He instructs, never go more than 10 days on when upregulating your detoxification system.

Ideally, this should be done with the assistance of a healthcare professional trained in heavy metal detoxification who can help you decide on an optimal dose and schedule. If you begin to feel worse, you may be titrating up too quickly.

III. Capturing and Eliminating Mercury with Intestinal Binders

You do NOT want to mobilize mercury without making sure it has an escape route out of your body!

Once the mercury is in your intestine, you need something to bind it and pull it away from your intestinal wall, and for this we use something called an intestinal binder. Intestinal binders help carry the mobilized toxins out, which prevents them from building up in your bloodstream where they can end up making you sicker.

Binders prevent you from absorbing or reabsorbing the toxic agent, but they also help prevent intestinal inflammation. If your intestine becomes inflamed, the traffic stops because the transport proteins are shut off. That causes toxins to back up into your liver and kidneys, and blood. Removing mercury from your gut will also help prevent dysbiosis, which is at the root of a mind-blowing array of health problems.

Thiol Resins - There are several types of intestinal binders, but only a couple of them work well for grabbing mercury. Dr. Shade’s favorite binder is thiol resin, because it’s the most specific to heavy metals (mercury, lead and arsenic) and produces high rates of excretion. Thiol resins have a powerful attraction for mercury.

Chlorella - Another good binder for heavy metals is chlorella. Dr. Shade suggests working up to 50 to 70 tablets per day, which is a lot of chlorella. Please work up to that level gradually. Other binders you’ll hear about are clay/zeolites, and pectin. For mercury, these bind very weakly, and you would have to take enormous quantities for many years to see any benefit so I don’t recommend them.

If you haven’t yet had your amalgams removed, you may find rinsing with a binding agent helpful. Chlorella, activated charcoal, or N-acetyl cysteine can be prepared as a mouthwash where it binds to the mercury coating your oral epithelium. Levels of mercury can be very high in this rinse — make sure you don’t swallow it.

Beneficial Bacteria - Dr. Natasha Campbell McBride believes that one of the most potent detoxifiers of mercury and heavy metals are beneficial bacteria. Their cell membranes tend to bind very effectively to the metals and they are typically excreted in the stool. One of the best ways to provide your body with this resource is with fermented vegetables.

top


What Are the Alternatives to Amalgam?

www.toxicteeth.org

Amalgam is interchangeable with numerous other filling materials – including resin composites and glass ionomers – that have rendered amalgam completely unnecessary for any clinical situation.  Always choose non-mercury fillings! 

Selecting Non-Amalgam Dentistry

www.holisticdentalnetwork.com

This is the place where patients, consumers, and Holistic professionals meet. You will find the answers to your questions about mercury toxicitydental amalgam health problems, heavy metal body burden, biocompatibility of composite dental restorations, nonmetallic and non-mercury filings, protocols for mercury amalgam removal, as well as biological microscopic non-surgical gum care.

www.biosafedentistry.com

BioSafeDentistry is a method of “Green” natural dentistry treating you as the dental patient in a safer, healthier and less painful way than conventional dentistry. BioSafeDentistry combines mercury free dentistry, holistic dentistry and biological dentistry with conventional dental strategies. The combination of these safe dentistry methods offers you a safer, cleaner and healthier experience in your dental office.

  • A BioSafe Dentist is a Mercury Free Dentist: Mercury vapors are extremely dangerous to your health. If you have mercury amalgam fillings (any silver colored filling in your tooth) the mercury vapor is being released inside your body which can be inhaled, swallowed or absorbed through the tissues in your mouth and lungs.

  • A BioSafe Dentist uses Holistic Dentistry and Biological Dentistry. A BioSafeDentist never uses toxic materials or chemicals while treating your dental needs. He only uses biocompatible materials whenever possible.

  • BioSafeDentistry is metal free dentistry-No dangerous metals like mercury, nickel or beryllium are used to restore your teeth. And toxic metals are safely removed from your teeth while protecting your overall health.

  • A BioSafe Dentist is a Fluoride Free Dentist. Fluoride, which is harmful to children and adults, is not used in your treatment.

  • A BioSafe Dentist protects your entire body from mercury vapors during amalgam fillings removal and from other harmful metals that leak from other old tooth restorations (like metal crowns).

  • A BioSafe Dentist recommends nutritional supplementation to maintain and protect your overall health. This is particularly true during and after mercury fillings removal.

  • A BioSafe Dentist uses state of the art high-efficiency air cleaners to capture harmful mercury vapors that are released while your old mercury fillings are removed.

top


To Find a Mercury Free Dentist Near You 

International Academy of Oral Medicine & Toxicology (IAOMT) - IAOMT member dentists are educated in biological dentistry including techniques for proper removal of mercury fillings. Member physicians appreciate the importance of biological dentistry in our overall health, and are familiar with mercury detoxification methods.

International Academy of Biological Dentistry and Medicine (IABDM) - Founded in 1985, the IABDM supports dentists, physicians and all allied health practitioners who are committed to integrating body, mind, spirit and mouth in caring for the whole person. From clinical awareness and scientific study, we know that what happens in the mouth is reflected in the body, and what happens in the body is reflected in the mouth.

Holistic Dental Association - The Holistic Dental Association is pleased to offer visitors a searchable database of our membership.

Find a BioSafeDentist Dentist - BioSafeDentistry combines mercury free dentistry, holistic dentistry and biological dentistry with conventional dental strategies. The combination of these safe dentistry methods offers you a safer, cleaner and healthier experience in your dental office.

 

top


Mercury In Fish

www.edf.org - Copyright Environmental Defense Fund. Used by permission. 

Mercury is released into the air primarily from industrial sources, falls to the ground in rain or snow and is deposited into water bodies, where it is converted into another highly toxic form of mercury (called methylmercury). Methlymercury then builds up in the tissues of fish and other animals, and in high concentrations can pose serious health risks to people who frequently eat contaminated fish. Based on the available data on mercury concentrations in fish tissue, Environmental Defense recommends limited consumption of certain fish (see chart).

What Are the Health Risks Associated With Consuming Mercury-Contaminated Fish?

Mercury targets the nervous system and kidneys. Developing fetuses, infants and young children are at the highest risk from mercury exposure, since their brains and nervous systems are still forming. Fetuses can absorb mercury directly across the placenta, and nursing infants can get it from their mother's breast milk. This is why it is so important for women of childbearing age to minimize their consumption of fish with high mercury levels. It can take 12-18 months for women in their childbearing years to significantly rid their body burden of methylmercury.

Children exposed to mercury before birth may exhibit problems with mental development and coordination, including how they think, learn and problem-solve later in life. These neurological symptoms may appear similar to cerebral palsy. Developmental and neurological damage can be irreversible for fetuses and young children, but as children get older, the risk associated with mercury exposure decreases.

Mercury exposure can also harm adults. Symptoms can include numbness, burning or tingling of the extremities (lips, fingers, toes); fatigue; weakness; irritability; shyness; loss of memory and coordination; tremors; and changes in hearing and blurred vision. Extremely high mercury levels can permanently damage an adult's brain and kidneys, or even lead to circulatory failure.

How Can I Reduce the Risks of Eating Seafood Contaminated With Mercury?

Since methylmercury binds to proteins, it is found throughout fish tissue, including muscle tissue that makes up fish steaks and fillets. Therefore, cleaning and cooking methods that can reduce amounts of other contaminants (like trimming fat and removing skin and organs) are not successful in reducing mercury levels in fish.

The best way to reduce exposure to methylmercury is to moderate or eliminate your consumption of predatory or long-lived fish (such as swordfish, shark, orange roughy and tuna). Refer to Health Alerts to see which species are known to have high levels of mercury. Be especially conservative if you are a woman of childbearing age or are feeding young children.

What Fish Should I Avoid?

Fish low in contaminants are an important part of a healthy diet. That's why Environmental Defense recommends limited consumption of certain fish because of their elevated mercury levels.

Reference - www.eurekalert.org - University of Wisconsin-Madison - Release date: 8-Mar-2007

Mercury contamination of fish warrants worldwide public warning: The health risks posed by mercury contaminated fish is sufficient to warrant issuing a worldwide general warning to the public — especially children and women of childbearing age-to be careful about how much and which fish they eat. That is one of the key findings comprising "The Madison Declaration on Mercury Pollution" published today in a special issue of the international science journal Ambio.  Five other major findings in the declaration were:

  • On average, three times more mercury is falling from the sky today than before the Industrial Revolution 200 years ago as a result of the increasing use of mercury and industrial emissions.
  • The uncontrolled use of mercury in small-scale gold mining is contaminating thousands of sites around the world, posing long-term health risks to an estimated 50 million inhabitants of mining regions. These activities alone contribute more than 10 percent of the mercury in Earth's atmosphere attributable to human activities today.
  • Little is known about the behavior of mercury in marine ecosystems and methylmercury in marine fish, the ingestion of which is the primary way most people at all levels of society worldwide are exposed to this highly toxic form of mercury.
  • Methylmercury exposure now constitutes a public health problem in most regions of the world.
  • Methylmercury levels in fish-eating birds and mammals in some parts of the world are reaching toxic levels, which may lead to population declines in these species and possibly in fish populations as well.  To read more…www.eurekalert.org

Best and Worst Seafood Choices (Downloadable Pocket Guides)

Link to Non Toxic

 

www.edf.org - Environmental Defense Fund

 

Seafood Watch - Surf the alphabetized list of seafood to find a particular kind and how it's rated. Best – Ok – Worst for contaminated

 

top


Mercury and Pollution Toxicity In Obesity

www.healthscience.org -  National Health Association All rights reserved.

Research in England, Canada, and the United States suggests that the most overweight people are found in cities and areas with the greatest amount of industrial and environmental pollution.9 In the U.S., the 10 fattest states are in the industrial South of our nation.10 They are connected either to the Mississippi River, the most polluted river in the U.S., or in the case of West Virginia, Texas, Alabama, Louisiana, and Georgia are home to some of the top 20 mercury polluting power plants in the nation.  While these areas may foster lifestyles that support poor eating habits and sedentary behavior, it appears that the increased levels of industrial pollutants may be contributing to the epidemic of obesity independent of other factors.

Mines, refineries, and factories regularly release toxins into the environment. Some of these pollutants are capable of disrupting key biological hormones, affecting the fertility of mammals and invoking changes that may be involved in reactive weight gain. Organochlorines — e.g., the pesticides DDT, its’ breakdown product DDE, and PCB (found in farm-raised salmon) — can decrease the levels of thyroid hormones, slowing down the metabolic rate of the body, and interfering with weight loss. These pollutants act directly on the sympathetic nervous system to interfere with weight-regulating hormones, and the receptors on fat cells, that may be involved in reactive weight gain.11

Some industrial pollutants like bisphenal-A, an estrogen mimic used to make clear hard reusable plastic products, and flame retardants, can signal dormant pre-adipocytes (baby fat cells) to grow into mature fat cells.12 As fat cells grow, it is harder to keep weight down. This increase in weight urges the detoxifying systems of the body to slow down and simply store more and more toxins in the growing mass of available fat. As a result, the body becomes increasingly fatter and more toxic. In some cases, these chemicals may elicit inflammatory responses and toxic effects on brain, liver, and kidneys.13 This may eventually overwhelm the body’s detoxification pathways. Under this pressure, the body tries to dilute these toxins by making new fat cells in which to store them, since these chemicals are usually soluble in fat, thereby reinforcing an ongoing cycle of toxicity, fat, and weight gain…read in its entirety www.healthscience.org

top


What Are Endocrine Disruptors

www.epa.gov - U.S Environmental Protection Agency

Disruption of the endocrine system can occur in various ways. Some chemicals mimic a natural hormone, fooling the body into over-responding to the stimulus (e.g., a growth hormone that results in increased muscle mass), or responding at inappropriate times (e.g., producing insulin when it is not needed). Other endocrine disrupting chemicals block the effects of a hormone from certain receptors (e.g. growth hormones required for normal development). Still others directly stimulate or inhibit the endocrine system and cause overproduction or underproduction of hormones (e.g. an over or underactive thyroid). Certain drugs are used to intentionally cause some of these effects, such as birth control pills. In many situations involving environmental chemicals, however, an endocrine effect is not desirable.

Global Threat of  Endocrine Disruptors  

www.environmentalhealthnews.org - Copyright Environmental Health Sciences

United Nations Panel Calls Hormone Disruptors a "Global Threat" - An international team of experts reported today that evidence linking hormone-mimicking chemicals to human health problems has grown stronger over the past decade, becoming a "global threat" that should be addressed.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration last year said “the scientific evidence at this time does not suggest that the very low levels of human exposure to BPA through the diet are unsafe.” The FDA and U.S. Environmental Protection Agency are analyzing whether to restrict use of the chemical, which is used in polycarbonate plastic, canned food liners and some paper receipts.

The report also cites threats to wildlife, particularly killer whales and harbour seals. Both have high levels of PCBs and flame retardants that accumulate in ocean ecosystems.

One problem vexing those who study endocrine-disrupting chemicals is the vast number of them – about 800 are known – and how they may interact with one another. They’re in a variety of things – such as pesticides, flame retardants, plastics, cosmetics and canned foods – and research has only touched the “tip of the iceberg,” according to the report…

A decade ago the biggest threat was thought to be persistent organic pollutant chemicals – such as DDT and polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs). These chemicals – now banned in the United States -- traveled the globe, persisted in the environment and caused severe population declines in some wildlife species…

Such contaminants still pose a threat. However, less persistent but more ubiquitous chemicals found in everyday products – such as bisphenol A (BPA) and phthalates – now are increasingly linked to human health problems.

“These chemicals are what we call ‘pseudo persistent,” said Tracey Woodruff, a professor at the University of California, San Francisco, and a report co-author. “They don’t stay in the environment long but people are exposed to them all the time so it’s the same effect as if they were persistent.”…

To avoid prolonged exposures in the future, the panel reported that perhaps countries should “ban or restrict chemicals in order to reduce exposure early, even when there are significant but incomplete data.”

“Frankly, for BPA, the science is done. Flame retardants, phthalates … the science is done,” Zoeller said. “We have more than enough information on these chemicals to make the reasonable decision to ban, or at least take steps to limit exposure.”

But government agencies and industry groups remain unconvinced.

The American Chemistry Council, which represents chemical companies, has repeatedly questioned the validity of studies linking two of the most pervasive endocrine disruptors -- BPA and phthalates.

top


Hazards of  Endocrine Disruptors

Source - www.exrx.net

There remains an ongoing debate about the safety of BPA, found in plastic bottles, food and beverage can linings, other food containers and products. On one side, government-funded studies suggest this compound contaminates our food and beverage to such an extent that they interfere with our hormones and even our epigenome, increasing risks of certain types of cancers and obesity, not only for the individual, but possibly for his/her off spring. On the other side, chemical company funded studies claim no such negative health effect.

Bisphenol A (BPA) Sources and Adverse Affects

  • Found in water bottles, baby bottles, plastic wraps, food and beverage can liners, plastic food storage containers, DVDs and CDs, Dental sealants, Impact-resistant plastics, cash register receipts, and more...

  • US Government's National Toxicology Program has concluded that there is some concern at current exposure levels

  • Brain and behavioral effects on fetuses and young children

  • Political issues perpetuate ongoing debate and cloud health concerns of BPA in adults

Bisphenol A is suspect of being linked to several human epidemics

  • Cardiovascular Disease (PLoS ONE, Jan 13, 2010)

  • Type 2 diabetes

  • Breast and prostate cancers

  • Enlargement of prostate

  • Early onset of puberty

  • Obesity (Masuno 2002)

Bisphenol A is hormonally ‘active’.

  • It has an effect in cells at levels thousands of times lower than toxicology reports had previously deemed safe (Nagel S)

  • Unlike phytoestrogens such as those found in soy beans, bisphenol A does not bind to blood proteins, which normally acts like a barrier, keeping estrogens from entering the cell.

  • Bisphenal A has been shown to stimulate human breast-cancer cells to proliferate in vitro (Welshons W)

  • Bisphenal A has been shown to enlarge prostates in mice at dosages close to what humans are exposed to from sources such as food packaging (Nagel S, Environmental Health Perspectives, National Institute of Health, 1997)

  • Bisphenol A has been shown to lower sperm counts in mice (Nagel S, 1997)

Exposure - Bisphenol A enters body

  • Digestion of contaminated water and food

  • Inhalation, entering through lungs

  • Skin contact (same way birth control does in patch form)

  • Mother’s blood stream to fetus

Studies by the CDC found bisphenol A in the urine of 93%-95% of Americans (Calafat 2005, 2008)

  • Suggests people are exposed regularly since bisphenol doesn't stay long in the body

  • Canned foods account for the greatest exposure of BPA (Environmental Working Group)

Products containing bisphenol A

  • Plastic water bottles

  • Plastic food storage containers (ScienceNews, Aug 28, 2010)

  • US Food and Drug Administration approved BPA for use in food containers in 1963

  • Over a decade later, federal law required safety reviews for new chemicals

  • Plastic baby bottles (transparent plastic)

  • detachable nipples have also been found to contain trace amounts of bisphenol A (Vom Saal)

  • Plastic resin in canned foods and aluminum beverage containers (Consumer Reports, Dec 2009)

  • BPA has even been detected BPA-free cans (Consumer Reports, Dec 2009)

  • Food containers from recycled paper (Ozaki)

  • Dental sealants, CDs and Toys, PVC pipe, medical equipment (Consumer Reports, Dec 2009)

  • Impact-resistant plastics such as safety helmet, bulletproof glass, traffic signals, computer cases (ScienceNews, Aug 28, 2010)

  • Cash register receipts (ScienceNews, Aug 28, 2010)

  • Found in approximately 80% of receipts (Environmental Working Group, 2010)

  • Recycled paper

  • Gehring, et al. (2011). Bisphenol A contamination of wastepaper, cellulose and recycled paper products, WIT eLibrary, 08 March 2011

The rate of bisphenol A leaching from plastic containers into foodstuffs is accelerated by

  • Contact with lipids, such as those found in milk, formula, cheese, meat, and vegetable oils

  • bisphenol A links to lipid molecules

  • Contact with acidic foods, such as fruit juice

  • Repeated washings

  • Exposure to heat or sunlight (Belcher)

Other environmental contaminants

  • Plastic pollutants in our lakes, streams, and oceans

  • Bisphenol A found in water

  • Suspect cause of unusually high instances of hermaphrodism in wildlife (Tillitt D)

See Which Plastics to Avoid

How Can You Reduce Your Exposure

top


Lead

www.niehs.nih.gov - National Institute of Health

 

Today, the most common sources of lead exposure in the United States are lead-based paint in older homes, contaminated soil, household dust, drinking water, lead crystal, and lead-glazed pottery. While extreme lead exposure can cause a variety of neurological disorders such as lack of muscular coordination, convulsions and coma, much lower lead levels have been associated with measurable changes in children’s mental development and behavior. These include hyperactivity; deficits in fine motor function, hand-eye coordination, and reaction time; and lowered performance on intelligence tests.

Chronic lead exposure in adults can result in increased blood pressure, decreased fertility, cataracts, nerve disorders, muscle and joint pain, and memory or concentration problems. To read more…www.niehs.nih.gov

Lead In Cosmetics 

www.mindfully.org  - Lipsticks tested by a U.S. consumer rights group found that more than half contained lead and some popular brands including Cover Girl, L'Oreal and Christian Dior had more lead than others….

The Campaign for Safe Cosmetics said tests on 33 brand-name red lipsticks by the Bodycote Testing Group in Santa Fe Spring, California, found that 61 percent had detectable lead levels of 0.03 to 0.65 parts per million (ppm).

Search to See If Your Cosmetics Are Toxic

www.cosmeticdatabase.com - Skin Deep is a safety guide to cosmetics and personal care products brought to you by researchers at the Environmental Working Group.

Skin Deep pairs ingredients in more than 37,000 products against 50 definitive toxicity and regulatory databases, making it the largest integrated data resource of its kind.

www.safecosmetics.org - The Campaign for Safe Cosmetics is a coalition of women’s, public health, labor, environmental health and consumer-rights groups. Our goal is to protect the health of consumers and workers by requiring the health and beauty industry to phase out the use of chemicals linked to cancer, birth defects and other health problems, and replace them with safer alternatives.

Household Lead Checker

Homax (made in the USA) sells a Household Lead Checker – Useful for the recent China recalled lead based products.

top

Non Toxic Consumer Guides

www.ewg.org - Consumer-Guides

[EWG] The Environmental Working Group offers you popular, easy-to-use guides to help you choose products and foods that are free of toxic ingredients, safe for your children and environmentally friendly. 

Kids’ and babies’ developing bodies are especially vulnerable to chemicals in the environment. Use EWG’s resources to learn how to avoid possible hazards in the products that kids encounter.

What you use to clean your surroundings can affect your health and the environment. EWG gives you the tools to make better choices. Clean wisely. View Consumer-Guides

top


Medical Imaging Radiation Risks

www.cancer.org -   American Cancer Society, Inc. All rights reserved

There is a comment in the article that I think is worthy of highlighting:

“CT is generally considered to have a very favorable risk to benefit profile among symptomatic patients.  However, the threshold for using CT has declined so that it is no longer used only in very sick patients but also in those with mild, self-limited illnesses who are otherwise healthy.  In these patients, the value of CT needs to be balanced against this small but real risk of carcinogenesis resulting from its use.  Neither physicians nor patients are generally aware of the radiation associated with CT, its risk of carcinogenesis, or the importance of limiting exposure among younger patients,   It is important to make both physicians and patients aware that this risk exists.” (emphasis mine-By Dr. Len)

These researchers also call on the profession to adopt and put in place standards similar to those developed by the Food and Drug Administration to monitor the performance of mammography machines to assure patients and physicians that the doses being used are in fact the correct and lowest dose needed for the CT scan.  There is currently no regulation of CT scans “in the field” at this time by the FDA.

…In the first study as reported in the Archives, the authors determined the number of CT scans performed currently in the United States. Then, they estimated the number of cancers that could eventually result from these scans. 

They estimated that 72 million scans were performed in this country in 2007.  The highest cancer risks were for chest or abdomen CT angiography (a study looking at blood vessels in the heart or aorta, which is a large blood vessel in the chest and abdomen), and whole body CT scans. 

The researchers also noted that the risk of cancer caused by CT scans declined as the patients got older.

They came to the conclusions that approximately 29,000 future cancers could be related to CT scans performed in 2007. Most of this risk would come from the scans performed most often, namely CT scans of the chest, abdomen and pelvis and head, as well as CT angiography of the chest which looks for coronary artery disease.

www.fda.gov

As in many aspects of medicine, there are risks associated with the use of X-ray imaging, which uses ionizing radiation to generate images of the body. Ionizing radiation is a form of radiation that has enough energy to potentially cause damage to DNA. Risks from exposure to ionizing radiation include:

  • a small increase in the possibility that a person exposed to X-rays will develop cancer later in life. (General information for patients and health care providers on cancer detection and treatment is available from the National Cancer Institute.)

  • tissue effects such as cataracts, skin reddening, and hair loss, which occur at relatively high levels of radiation exposure and are rare for many types of imaging exams. For example, the typical use of a CT scanner or conventional radiography equipment should not result in tissue effects, but the dose to the skin from some long, complex interventional fluoroscopy procedures might, in some circumstances, be high enough to result in such effects.

Another risk of X-ray imaging is possible reactions associated with an intravenously injected contrast agent, or “dye”, that is sometimes used to improve visualization.

The risk of developing cancer from medical imaging radiation exposure is generally very small, and it depends on:

  • radiation dose - The lifetime risk of cancer increases the larger the dose and the more X-ray exams a patient undergoes.

  • patient’s age - The lifetime risk of cancer is larger for a patient who receives X-rays at a younger age than for one who receives them at an older age.

  • patient’s sex - Women are at a somewhat higher lifetime risk than men for developing radiation-associated cancer after receiving the same exposures at the same ages.

  • body region - Some organs are more radiosensitive than others.

...The medical community has emphasized radiation dose reduction in CT because of the relatively high radiation dose for CT exams (as compared to radiography) and their increased use, as reported in the National Council on Radiation Protection and Measurements (NCRP) Report No. 160. Because tissue effects are extremely rare for typical use of many X-ray imaging devices (including CT), the primary radiation risk concern for most imaging studies is cancer; however, the long exposure times needed for complex interventional fluoroscopy exams and resulting high skin doses may result in tissue effects, even when the equipment is used appropriately. For more information about risks associated with particular types of X-ray imaging studies, please see the CTFluoroscopyRadiography, and Mammography web pages. 

top

Balancing Exam Imaging Benefits and Risks

www.cancer.org - American Cancer Society, Inc. All rights reserved

Too many CT scans are not medically necessary, and won’t impact the course of treatment for the patient.  Too many CT scans replace the history and physical and talking with the patient.  Too many CT scans are done because doctors are worried that they may be sued if they don’t do it and something rare shows up later.  Too many CT scans are done because patients aren’t willing to take some responsibility for their health and participate in the decision-making process.

All this “avoidance,” unfortunately, has now been shown through this research and other similar reports to have a very real cost, which is not just financial.  It could be the cause of a future cancer or even a death.

Doctors need to lead the way in reducing the risks of these CT scan related problems. 

They need to be certain the scan is truly needed.  They need to be certain that the CT scan machines are monitored carefully for the amount of radiation they produce.  They need to adhere to standards to be certain that the dose of radiation used is the least required to get an adequate study.

My friends, this is a serious problem.  The awareness of doctors and patients about the problem is long overdue. 

Our technology can be terrific and can be lifesaving, but only if used properly and carefully.  It is critical that we be certain that the CT scans we recommend and the CT scans we undergo be done only for appropriate conditions and circumstances, where the benefits clearly outweigh the risks.

www.fda.gov

While the benefit of a clinically appropriate X-ray imaging exam generally far outweighs the risk, efforts should be made to minimize this risk by reducing unnecessary exposure to ionizing radiation. To help reduce risk to the patient, all exams using ionizing radiation should be performed only when necessary to answer a medical question, treat a disease, or guide a procedure. If there is a medical need for a particular imaging procedure and other exams using no or less radiation are less appropriate, then the benefits exceed the risks, and radiation risk considerations should not influence the physician’s decision to perform the study or the patient's decision to have the procedure. However, the "As Low as Reasonably Achievable" (ALARA) principle should always be followed when choosing equipment settings to minimize radiation exposure to the patient.

top

Questions to Ask Your Health Care Provider

Retrieved from - mercola.com

The UC Berkeley Wellness Letter offers some good suggestions for questions you should ask before undergoing a diagnostic scan:

  • Is the test really necessary?

  • What difference will it make in my care?

  • Is there a non-radiation alternative, such as ultrasound or MRI?

  • Is the facility accredited by the American College of Radiology?

  • Will the test use the lowest level of radiation for adequate imaging? (Will it be adjusted for my size, or my child’s size?)

  • Will the scan be limited to the indicated area, and will nearby areas be shielded?

www.fda.gov

Patients and parents of children undergoing X-ray imaging exams should be well informed and prepared by:

Keeping track of medical-imaging histories as part of a discussion with the referring physician when a new exam is recommended (see the Image Wisely/FDA Patient Medical Imaging Record card and "My Child's Medical Imaging Record" card from the Alliance for Radiation Safety in Pediatric Imaging).

top

Why X-Rays are So Damaging to Your Health

Retrieved from - mercola.com

There are four primary reasons that x-rays (and other diagnostic tests that rely on ionizing radiation, such as mammograms and CTs) should be minimized:

  • They cause chromosomal mutations that are often irreparable, and the effects are cumulative.

  • They cause DNA changes that are proven to lead to cancer.

  • They cause DNA damage in your arteries, which can lead to cardiovascular disease.

  • They often result in misdiagnosis and false positives, increasing the likelihood of follow up tests—further increasing your radiation exposure.

One CT Scan is 100 Times More Dangerous than Chest X-Ray

CT scans emit far more radiation than conventional X-rays—a CT scan of the chest delivers 100 times the radiation of a conventional chest X-ray, and a mammogram delivers 1,000 times more radiation.

Over a ten-year period, a woman can receive as much radiation exposure (5 rads) from routine mammograms as a Japanese woman one mile from the epicenter of the atomic bombs dropped on Hiroshima or Nagasaki.

Many nonessential radiation-based scans could be eliminated altogether.

top

Natural Ways to Help You Strengthen Your Body Against the Assaults of Medical Radiation

In addition to seeking to avoid unnecessary radiation exposure and using the safest medical testing available whenever you do need a medical image test, you may be able to lower your radiation-induced risk for cancer by using a potent antioxidant. If, for whatever reason you are forced into a CT scan, this is the best advice I can give you, to protect yourself from this massive ionizing radiation exposure…

Astaxanthin is a potent carotenoid and everything I have studied suggests it is the most potent antioxidant to protect against this type of damage. You can take 2-4 mg of astaxanthin to protect your cells and tissues. The downside, however, is that you need to be on it for several weeks to prevent the damage.

The side benefit is that the astaxanthin will also likely prevent the most common cause of blindness, age related macular degeneration, cataracts and also help you from getting sunburned. 

top



image
image