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.
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 centres, 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 heartbeat, water retention, etc.
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 & Cohn’s disease
Chronic Fatigue & Fibromyalgia
Kidney, Liver & Thyroid disease
Immune System & Hormonal Dysfunction
Mercury Amalgam Fillings
If you have, or have ever had mercury amalgam (silver) fillings, you are mercury toxic to some degree. Mercury is extremely toxic because it damages a spectrum of biological systems and because it is difficult to remove from body tissues. See: Related Health Conditions
A critical step in achieving optimal health is to participate in the safe and effective amalgam filling replacement and mercury detoxification program (ARDP) offered through Health First Dental and the Calgary Chelation Centre.
Mercury amalgams are as close as you can get to the center of the illness universe, and their use in dentistry has set us up for most of the health problems we see today. –Bruce Shelton, M.D., M.D.(H), Di.Hom.
Dental amalgams, commonly known as silver fillings, are the largest source of mercury in the general population. Each filling contains up to 50% mercury, 30% silver, and the remaining 20% consisting of copper, tin and zinc. The average amalgam filling contains close to one gram of mercury. To put this into perspective, that is enough mercury to contaminate a 5 acre lake and declare it unsuitable for drinking and fishing according to the Environmental Protection Agency.
Small amounts of mercury are continuously released from these fillings and absorbed in the body. Once mercury binds to organs and tissues in the body there can be cell death or irreversible chemical damage that impairs the function of vital organs.
Mercury from amalgam fillings has been linked to Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, multiple sclerosis, Lou Gehrig’s disease (ALS), infertility, neurological disorders, immunological suppression, kidney disease, and cardiovascular disease.
The harmful accumulation of mercury from amalgam fillings can remain present in the body for decades after the fillings have been removed.
What to do if you have Mercury Fillings
Your amalgam fillings need to be safely removed and replaced by a biological dentist that has the competency and training to safely remove your amalgams without exposing you to high concentrations of mercury.
Amalgams need to be replaced with the biocompatible and aesthetic alternative of your choice.
A biological dentist appreciates that the diseases and materials in your mouth can have lasting, negative effects on other systems in your body. Given that the objective is to halt any further exposure to mercury, we recommend that you replace all of your amalgam fillings over the shortest time frame possible.
The Mercury Chelation Program approaches mercury removal in a safe and natural way. This insures that any possible undesirable side-effects are reduced or eliminated.
The goal of the program is to first support and improve the body’s own ability to effectively remove mercury, and second to chelate (bind) the unwanted mercury and thirdly, to actively remove the mercury from the body.
The program begins with a general assessment, laboratory testing and heavy metal urine testing. Analysis of the levels of toxic metals in urine after the administration of a metal detoxification agent is an objective way to evaluate the accumulation of toxic metals. Acute metal poisoning is rare. More common, however, is a chronic, low-level exposure to toxic metals that can result in significant retention in the body that can be associated with a vast array of adverse health effects.
To evaluate net retention, the doctors at Optimum Wellness Integrated Clinic will compare the levels of metals in urine before and after the administration of a pharmaceutical metal detoxification agent. Different compounds have different affinities for specific metals, but all function by sequestering “hidden” metals from deep tissue stores and mobilizing the metals to the kidneys for excretion in the urine. If elevated levels of mercury (or other heavy metals) are found, then the chelation process begins with intravenous (IV) treatments and by taking suggested oral supplements.
When Do You Start the Mercury Chelation Program?
After Heavy Metal Testing
If elevated levels of mercury is found, then the chelation process begins with receiving intravenous (IV) treatments and by taking suggested oral supplements.
Around Removal of Dental Amalgams
Generally it is best to start the mercury specific chelation program BEFORE you start removing your dental amalgams and continue DURING and AFTER their removal. It is also best to have only a few dental amalgams removed at once so that the excess mercury released during the removal process is quickly removed. If you have ALREADY removed your amalgams, even if it was years ago, you should still be tested and then if needed, start the mercury chelation program as soon as you can.
Research has shown that the greatest amount of mercury released occurs at the dental office during the replacement, repair or removal of amalgam fillings, as well as during the cleaning and polishing of them.
Consequently, you should consider choosing a biological dentist (mercury-free) who is familiar and mindful of the toxicity of mercury and the increased release during procedures. These dentists also use specialized equipment which decreases mercury exposure to their patients and their staff. They often have obtained special training and belong to organizations such as IAOMT.org (International Academy of Oral Medicine & Toxicology).
Please be aware that individual responses to treatments may vary. Results are not guaranteed. Speak with your naturopathic doctor about the appropriate treatment plan for your case.
Everyone that begins the Mercury Chelation Program will receive information on this therapy, including our clinic information pamphlet and a recommended supplements list.