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Mercury, Mercury, Everywhere . . .

In 1990 the total global atmospheric release of mercury due to human activities exceeded 3,300 tons and 23% of this was from the generation of electricity by fossil fuel powered power plants.

Other important sources include mining, combustion of fossil fuels, smelting of metal ores, refining of gold and production of cement, crematoriums and municipal waste and sewage sludge incineration.

Mercury drops

There are also over 3000 uses for mercury in various compounds and products, which vary from batteries to floor wax, to cosmetics.

A new concern of mercury release in the environment is from the recent increased use of "energy-saving" fluorescent bulbs and tubes. All of these bulbs contain mercury gas and if disposed improperly in everyday household, work, or industrial garbage, instead of through disposal centers, they will create a new and potentially large source of mercury that will be added to the environment.

Methylmercury the most toxic form of mercury has been ascending our food chain in the last 100 years. It is especially concentrated in fish and other aquatic species. Throughout Canada and the USA over 50,000 lakes and 7% of all river systems post warnings that either ban or limit fish consumption, due to unacceptable levels of mercury.

What is Mercury?

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), there is no known safe level of mercury in humans. It is toxic in extraordinary small amounts and each atom of mercury that enters the body can inflict harm. Mercury can damage every enzyme system and every structure in every cell in the body.

Today we know that mercury is the most toxic nonradioactive heavy metal on the planet - many times more poisonous than arsenic, lead, or cadmium. The tiniest amount of mercury once absorbed by the body can inflict widespread damage to cells, tissues and organs. As mercury is carried by the blood to the cells of the body, its effects can be detrimental in several ways.

Some examples, to name a few are:

  • Kills healthy cells.

  • Penetrates and damages the blood-brain barrier and accumulates in the brain. There it can generate high levels of "free radicals" and damage brain and nerve cells.

  • Inhibits the production of neurotransmitters (brain), and can cause learning disabilities and impairment, and a reduction in IQ.

  • Damages the immune system, resulting in several autoimmune disorders, and also increases susceptibility to bacterial, viral and fungal infections.

  • Increases the risk of cardiovascular disease and heart attack.

Pervasive Body Toxicity Symptoms

A particularly challenging characteristic of mercury is its ubiquitous (spreads everywhere) toxicity. The metal can poison every enzyme, damage every cellular structure and virtually kill every cell in the body. This explains the extraordinary diversity of symptoms and diseases that are directly and indirectly attributed to mercury poisoning.

A partial list of common symptoms of chronic mercury poisoning includes:

  • Emotions: aggressiveness, anger, anxiety, apathy, confusion, depression, fear, etc.

  • Energy Levels: lethargy, chronic fatigue, restlessness, etc.

  • Neurological (mental): memory loss, lack of concentration, insomnia, learning and comprehension problems, numbness, etc.

  • Mouth & Throat: metallic taste, bad breath, burning in mouth, chronic sore throat, bleeding gums (gingivitis), mouth ulcers, white patches (leukoplakia), etc.

  • Head & Sinus: dizziness, faintness, recurrent headaches, ringing in the ears, chronic stuffy nose, sinusitis, inflammation in nose, excessive and chronic mucus formation, etc.

  • Heart: chest pain, irregular or rapid heart beat, water retention, etc.

  • Other: allergies, anemia, anorexia, asthma, bronchitis, chest congestion, colitis, glandular swelling, perspiration (excessive), etc.

Diseases Related to Mercury Toxicity

When it comes to establishing the causative link between mercury and disease, it is important to consider the numerous related risk factors that can produce similar symptoms. Each individual depending on his or her particular lifestyle, nutritional status, and genetic and emotional makeup, will be affected differently by the cumulative mercury exposure. However, one thing is for certain, the probability of developing a related health problem dramatically increases when related risk factors and mercury are present together.

New research has demonstrated a link between mercury exposure and the following diseases (Please note that this is a partial list only):

  • Alzheimer's, ALS, MS, & Parkinson's

  • Asthma, arthritis & autism

  • Cardiovascular & Crohns disease

  • Chronic Fatigue & Fibromyalgia

  • Kidney, Liver & Thyroid disease

  • Immune System & Hormonal Dysfunction

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