Archive for July, 2010

Mercury is toxic to humans, so why do we put it in our bodies?

July 27, 2010

Mercury is toxic to humans, so why do we put it in our bodies?

Mercury is the most toxic non-radioactive substance to which humans can be exposed. The effects on health are dramatic and extensive, It has a detrimental effect on organs, glands, brain and all the body’s different systems. So the question must be asked, why are we being told it is ok to put it into our bodies?

There are a number of sources of mercury entering the body which will be covered later. However, the largest exposure we are subjected to is from our own mouth. To be more precise, from the amalgam fillings dentistry has deemed it safe to use in our teeth. This has even been confirmed as far back as 1991 by the World Health Organisation.

For the last hundred years or so mercury based metal fillings have been used to fill teeth. Whether by accident or otherwise is another question, but it remains a fact that mercury is incredibly dangerous. The effects on health have been measured in countless studies. One of the most dramatic being that carried out by the University of Calgary which actually filmed the effect of mercury on brain neurons. When mercury was introduced the molecules interfered with the production of tubulin which surrounds the neuron causing it to collapse and the neuron to die. The effect of this is to prevent the growth or regeneration of brain tissue and so effect the functioning of the brain.

Other studies like those done by the International Academy of Oral Medicine and Toxicology have shown as far back as 1985 that amalgam fillings de-gas for the lifetime of the filling giving off mercury vapour. This can be caused simply from body temperature, or chewing. The levels of mercury given off from a grinding action were shown to be double that of the level a working space would need to be evacuated for safety reasons. The mercury was shown to quickly spread to the jaw, liver, kidneys, stomach and heart. They also show the mercury spreads to the brain and to every part of an unborn foetus.

Just for a comparison think for a moment about what safety procedures are required if a mercury thermometer or bulb is broken. Hazardous waste procedures must be implemented. An isolated and well vented environment must be created and the mercury collected and disposed of by sealing up all waste and cleaning materials in bags and removing sections of materials or carpet where spills have occurred. They must then be disposed of in accordance with strict guidelines. This information can be found from the Environmental Protection Agencies in any country and shows how serious the health implications of mercury really are.

Even with this information in the public domain the dental industry do of course claim that silver amalgam is a stable form of mercury and that once in place it doesn’t give off significant levels of vapour, and produce studies to back up their claim. However what they don’t tell you is that the the studies they rely upon for this conclusion are all funded by the dental industry and none are independent. In contrast there are over 1400 independent studies that advise that mercury is a toxic substance and should not be used for fillings. So it seems strange that the industry ignores them if they are concerned with the safety of patients and workers alike. Indeed statistically dentists have been shown to not live as long as other work groups, and dental nurses have been shown to have a higher incidence of infertility.

One of the strangest anomalies of the recommendations of the British Dental Association is that despite advising that amalgam fillings are perfectly safe and are not putting the patient in danger of leeching mercury, at the same time it accuses the mercury free dentistry proponents of putting patients at risk of mercury exposure by replacing amalgam fillings. Furthermore they also recommend that women should not have amalgam fillings drilled during pregnancy. This sounds like double standards to any observer. So which is it BDA, toxic or non toxic?

Evidence from independent studies has shown that mercury is linked to a wide range of illnesses affecting the heart and blood disorders, digestive problems including bloating, and a reduction in kidney function as well as many lesser ailments. These may be largely to do with the effect it has on the endocrine system and the functioning of the glands in the body that release hormones that keep the body working properly. One of the most troublesome is the effect on the thyroid gland which regulates the body’s metabolism.

By far the most worrying effect though is the deterioration of the brain. Mercury has been linked to many behavioral problems and mood changes including depression and anger, but worse still it has been linked to autism and altzhiemers for the reasons shown by the Calgary study. These two have shown a huge increase in the last 80 years with autism previously almost unheard of at 1 in 10,000 now occurring in 1 in 100 in the USA. Altzheimers too is now affecting younger and younger people. Memory loss and changes in behavior have been a common symptom linked to mercury.

These ailments were put to the test by proponents of amalgam free dentistry whereby they safely removed amalgam fillings from long time owners and measured the improvement in their health problems. What they found was an improvement of symptoms for most ailments of between 70 and 94% of subjects in everything from bad tempers to multiple sclerosis.

Amalgam is not the only source of mercury in our bodies. We can get it from fish in small amounts which we deal with through magnesium and calcium in our diets. However there are other man made sources such as the preservatives used in multi dose vaccines such as the MMR or the flu vaccines of which more and more are being pushed upon us.

Another highly unlikely source is high fructose corn syrup of which around 50% of it has been discovered to contain mercury for no apparent good reason. This ingredient is used in half the processed foods in the shops these days and is hard to avoid.

If you add in the fact that the amalgam material used was changed from the 1970s onwards to a new type that was later found to give off even more mercury vapour than it’s predecessor. It would seem that those in control of our health have a determination to get this mercury into our bodies by hook or by crook despite all the evidence of it’s toxicity, and despite all common sense. The question then becomes, why, when there are alternative treatments available?

There seems to be a culture, if you can call it that, of people believing everything that they are told because it comes from someone in “authority” rather than believing our own eyes. When the two become so far removed from eachother we need to start trusting our instincts and asking why those proposing to make these decisions for us are not considering all the evidence and are plainly disregarding the vast majority of it in favour of a failed model?

If you do decide to replace amalgams make sure it is done safely as you will be exposed to very high levels of mercury vapour during the removal. Rubber damming, suction and ventilation are good practice at a bare minimum. Remember, you are the one paying for the work so do not be fobbed off by your dentist.


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