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Related Health Info / Articles Detoxing Chemicals and Pollutants for Optimal Health

Most disturbing about these findings to Dr. Buttar is that in every case, mercury was found. The presence of mercury is attributed to pollution from coal-fired power plants, mercury-containing products, and certain industrial processes. It accumulates in seafood. And, though you might think the mercury problem has been abated, Dr. Nash cites a November 17, 2004 Wall Street Journal article by Matt Pottinger, Steve Stecklow and John J. Fialka describing the high levels of mercury that are now being spread, particularly by massive industrial development in China. As the article states, “Mercury and other pollutants from China's more than 2,000 coal-fired power plants soar high into the atmosphere and around the globe on what has become a transcontinental conveyor belt of bad air. North America and Europe add their own dirty loads to the belt. But Asia, pulsating with the economic rebirth of China and India, is the largest contributor.” It further explains:

Scientists long assumed mercury settled into the ground or water soon after it spewed forth as a gas from smokestacks. But using satellites, airplanes and supercomputers, scientists are now tracking air pollution with unprecedented precision, discovering plumes of soot, ozone, sulfates and mercury that drift eastward across oceans and continents…The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency recently reported that a third of the country's lakes and nearly a quarter of its rivers are now so polluted with mercury that children and pregnant women are advised to limit or avoid eating fish caught there. Warnings about mercury, a highly toxic metal used in things ranging from dental fillings to watch batteries, have been issued by 45 states and cover four of the five Great Lakes. Some scientists now say 30% or more of the mercury settling into U.S. ground soil and waterways comes from other countries – in particular, China…Mining, waste incineration and coal combustion emit the metal in the form of an invisible gas. After it rains down and seeps into wetlands, rivers and lakes, microbes convert it into methylmercury, a compound that works its way up the food chain into fish and eventually people.

The EWG report states, “Methylmercury exposure in the womb causes measurable declines in brain function in children exposed to levels corresponding to 58 parts per billion in maternal blood (NAS 2000b). Researchers in the Netherlands found a doubling in the risk of heart attacks and death from coronary heart disease at methylmercury hair levels of 2 mg/kg, which corresponds to about one fifth the assumed safe maternal blood level (Salonen, et al. 1995). Increased diastolic and systolic blood pressure and decreased heart rate variability in developmentally exposed children have also been observed at doses below what the EPA considers a safe maternal blood level (NAS 2000b, Sorensen et al. 1999).” The Wall Street Journal reinforces this: “The dangers of significant methylmercury exposure to the nervous system are well documented, particularly in fetuses and children. Permanent harm to children can range from subtle deficits in memory and attention span to mental retardation. In January [2004], EPA scientists released research indicating that 630,000 U.S. babies born during a 12-month period in 1999-2000 had potentially unsafe levels of mercury in their blood – about twice as many babies as previously estimated.” Among the possible implications of mercury and other toxins cited by EWG:

Major nervous system disorders. Several recent studies have determined that the reported incidence of autism is increasing, and is now almost 10 times higher than in the mid-1980's (Byrd 2002, Chakrabarti and Fombonne 2001). The number of children being diagnosed and treated for attention deficit disorder (ADD) and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) has also increased dramatically in the past decade (Robison et al. 1999, Robison et al. 2002, Zito et al. 2000). The causes are largely unexplained, but environmental factors, including chemical exposures, are considered a likely contributor. Environmental factors have also been increasingly linked with Parkinson's disease (Checkoway and Nelson 1999, Engel et al. 2001).

In “Metals in Medicine,” Dr. Nash goes into more detail:

Mercury is known to affect the brain and has been associated with the causation or exacerbation of degenerative diseases such as amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, Alzheimer’s disease, multiple sclerosis, and Parkinson’s disease... mercury is associated with autism, the degenerative diseases of the brain mentioned above, neurodevelopmental diseases, vascular diseases, nephrotoxicity, and cancer. [Clarkson TW, Magos L, Myers GJ. The toxicology of mercury—current exposures and clinical manifestations.N Engl J Med. 2003;349(18):1731-1737] points out that “the fetal brain is more susceptible than the adult brain to mercury induced damage.” Specifically, methylmercury “inhibits the division and migration of neuronal cells” and “disrupts the cytoarchitecture of the developing brain.” Recent studies have c/related the explosive increase of autism with thimerosal, an additive to many vaccines that contains 50% ethyl mercury.

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