By Lauana Lei
Mercury is probably the most toxic non-radioactive metal in the environment. It is a poison! It is highly toxic to humans and ANY AMOUNT is harmful to the cells and tissues of human beings, according to Roy B. Kupsinel, MD, author of A Patient’s Guide to Mercury-Amalgam Toxicity – A Major Common Denominator of Degenerative Disease. The World Health Organization declared there is no safe level of mercury for human beings – in other words, mercury is so poisonous that no amount of mercury absorption is safe. (1992). Dental amalgams (fillings) are classified as a hazardous material by OSHA and recommend a “no-touch” technique in handling amalgams. A facemask should be used to avoid breathing amalgam dust, and hazardous waste instructions used for disposal!
On December 16, 1990, 60 MINUTES aired a program on dental mercury amalgam, which brought the issue forcefully to public attention. In 1992, Germany banned the use of certain forms of amalgam. In December 1992, the American Medical Association passed a resolution advocating the elimination of mercury, and benzene from all household products, citing their harmful effect on the environment and on human health. (12/92). In August 1993, a Federal Court ruled that California’s Proposition 65 is valid with regards to dental amalgam. This means that any dentist who has 10 or more employees must provide “clear and reasonable warning” to both employees and patients that amalgam is a potentially harmful substance. In February 1994, the Swedish parliament passed a bill banning all use of dental amalgam by 1997. On July 11, 1994, the BBC aired a 40-minute documentary on dental amalgam called “The Poison In Your Mouth.” In early 1995, a legal brief was discovered filed the American Dental Association in a civil lawsuit in Santa Clara, California that denies any responsibility for the safety of the general public when the public seeks and receives dental care! Practicing dentists are generally unaware that they have been inadequately informed about amalgam’s toxic properties by their professional association.
Sources of Mercury
The toxicity of mercury is not only from the major source of dental amalgams, but is also found in a natural state in soil and has been processed and used in a wide variety of industrial applications from the manufacture of wood pulp to agricultural fungicides and pesticides and is found in most plastics. Other sources of mercury contamination are from pharmaceutical medicines including vaccinations and laxatives, cosmetics, large ocean fish such as swordfish and tuna, film, plastics, and paint. We ingest or inhale inorganic mercury through our air, food, water, and soil—our bodies can even absorb it through our skin and convert it into even more highly toxic methyl mercury. Additional sources are inks, in some printing and tattoos, refined grains and seeds may test for methyl mercury, chlorine bleaches, contact lens solutions (antibacterial mercury compound is found in contact lens cleaning solutions and injectable vitamins and drugs), felt, fabric softener, floor waxes and polishes, film, broken thermometers and barometers, antiseptic creams and lotions, and nasal sprays.
“Mercury is a cytotoxin,” (The Mercury In Your Mouth, by Quicksilver Associates. “It is poisonous to all living cells. It also states in the book that it has the capacity to bond with any chemical, which contains a particular type of molecule called “sulfhydryl”, found in most proteins. The human body contains an enormous number of protein compounds; they are the building blocks for all body tissue, and many have one or more sulfhydryl groups. As a result, mercury can interfere with virtually any process or organ in the body.”
Forms of Mercury
There has been controversy of the toxicity of elemental mercury vapor versus methyl mercury. According to Swedish and Canadian studies and research (courtesy of Woodlands Healing Research Center, Dr. Harold Buttram, MD in Quakertown, PA). The following is some of their findings.
“Elemental Mercury Vapor is more rapidly transmitted throughout the body than other forms of mercury and has much more toxic effects on the central nervous system and other parts of the body than inorganic mercury according to the World Health Organization and other studies. Mercury vapor rapidly crosses the blood-brain barrier accumulating in the brain and pituitary gland causing neurological and endocrine system damage. Elemental mercury vapor also rapidly crosses cellular membranes including the placenta of pregnant women with inorganic mercury accumulating in the brain, pituitary gland, kidneys, etc. of the developing fetus.” The research continues to say in the situation of the fetus of the pregnant woman that,“there is evidence that indicates that mercury vapor is 10 times more toxic to the fetal brain than methyl mercury.”
The studies found that mercury vapor and organic mercury have independent and synergistic toxic and developmental effects, and that additionally conversions of the mercury occur in the body between the various forms of mercury. It was found that elemental mercury (vapor) was documented to be methylzed in the body to the organic state and was a significant source of methyl mercury.
Organic Mercury -(Methyl Mercury) “Mercury vapor is oxidized or converted to inorganic forms which bioaccumulates in the brain, the central nervous system, liver, kidneys, heart, and oral mucus. The level of mercury in the brain and heart is higher after exposure to mercury vapor than for other forms.”
Inorganic Mercury – Substantial research findings is alarming….”While mercury vapor and methyl mercury readily cross cell membranes and the blood-brain barrier, once in cells they form inorganic mercury that does not readily cross cell membranes of the blood brain barrier readily. Thus inorganic mercury in the brain or spinal cord has a very long life, often over 20 years.”
There are numerous sources stating that the major source of mercury in most people has been well documented to be coming from amalgam fillings. This is especially true for mercury in saliva. Much mercury in the saliva is organic since mouth bacteria and other organisms in the body methylate inorganic mercury to organic mercury. In the research, some people tested who do not eat fish have been found to have high levels of methyl mercury. Mercury from amalgam is methylated by bacteria and candida albicans in the mouth and intestines. Once mercury vapor or methyl mercury are converted to inorganic mercury in cells or the brain, the mercury does not readily cross cell membranes or the blood-brain barrier. The mercury has a very long life in the brain, often as much as 20 years according to the Swedish Medical Journal (1986).
Testing For Mercury
Patient’s Health History
This form is one of the simplest and least expensive ways for evaluation. It helps the patient and the doctor or practitioner decide of a very good probability of a mercury hypersensitivity problem.
There are numerous laboratories across the country that specialize in the area of metal and chemical analysis. Great Smokies National Laboratories in Asheville, NC (1-888-891-3061 Body Balance Division EXT #5) and Dr.’s Data in Chicago (1-630-231-3649) are two popular ones. They can do hair analysis for reasonable costs and urine analysis is another way of testing. See the addresses and phone numbers listed.
The hair analysis shows effectiveness usually when the client is in the process of detoxifying the mercury. A high mercury level often indicates the unloading process, so it can indicate that the mercury is there and the body is trying to unload it.. The hair test may not show the hidden layers of mercury toxicity so that a low mercury level in the hair may not indicate the true state of the body that has a load of mercury in deeper layers of tissues and organs.
Urine analysis is usually done over an 18 hr or 24 hr process. A base line mercury excretion level may be obtained from this analysis. A provocative test is with a chelating agent. The most conservative approach is with intravenous Vitamin C. It is least likely to cause detoxification illness. Other challenge tests are EDTA and DMPS and an oral one is DMSA.
DMPS – EDTA & DMSA Challenge
There has been quite a bit of controversy in recent years of the DMPS challenge as it seems to “dump” the poisonous mercury too fast and had some serious detrimental effects. The detoxification process of the poisonous substances need to be released only to the point that the client can bear. When nausea, headaches, dizziness, vomiting, etc. occur, this is a strong indication that the toxins are coming out too fast and the release of poisons perhaps need to be done more slowly! There are now organizations forming, such as DMPSBACKFIRE out of Pennsylvania, against the use of DMPS (check www.dmpsbackfire.com) before making a final decision. It is worth checking into. Another note: “DMPS excretes metals in the following order: zinc, tin, copper, arsenic, mercury,” according to, Heavy Metal Bulletin, Editor, Monica Kauppi, March 1995, issue. The EDTA challenge test works for some and not for others, while DMSA, the oral challenge test, seem to be the SAFEST of these three. Check our new product listing for the latest in this area.
Complete Blood Count
White cell elevation or depression has been found in cases of known mercury poisoning. After amalgam removal the count often levels off from 5,000 to 5,500. A CBC test may be done before and then after removal and offers a comparison. Many laboratories provide this type of test.
Jerome Mercury Vapor Analyzer.
This instrument is used by governmental agencies for mercury vapor analysis. The patient is tested before and after chewing sugarless gum without aspartame -a chemical- in it, for ten minutes. Usually this test provides some noticeable increases and give the patient an increased awareness of the mercury problem from vapor.
BIOCOMPATIBILITY & BIO-FEEDBACK Testing
Biocompatibility testing is to check out what replacement composites to use AFTER the amalgams have been removed. There are numerous safe composites used for fillings to replace the mercury. It is very important to have this test done to find out what specific composites are compatible with your body chemistry. These can be tested on instruments such as the Dermatron, Computron, Interro, Vega, Xxroid, and B.E.S.T (the latter is FDA approved).
Another way of testing is through live cell or dry cell analysis with a blood sample. The materials selected in this form of testing will be in harmony with your body. These instruments uses frequency-testing by having a person hold a device connected to the instrument that monitors their frequency rates and can check out the substances that are compatible. These instruments also can be used as BIO-FEEDBACK analysis to test which metals and chemicals are present in your body and the advanced technical machines will balance frequencies that are “out of balance”. The Xxroid instrument and the latest equipment of B.E.S.T. have the “frequency balancing” capacity.
The Patch Test
This test is a highly sensitive test for the hypersensitive patient. It will produce an exacerbation of mercury-related symptoms within 24 hours. The highly hypersensitive patient will react in an hour or less, so for this reason all patients are kept in the office for one hour after application of the patch. A reaction within one hour means that the test is over. The patch is removed, the reaction is neutralized and usually within twenty minutes the exacerbation is over. The patients that react within one hour are considered highly hypersensitive and could definitely be considered for amalgam removal.
(See Hal Huggin’s book, It’s All In Your Head, for more information.
Symptoms & Diseases Of Mercury Toxicity
The symptoms of mercury toxicity are lengthy, but we will attempt to bring you a list derived from several different sources: They include: Gastrointestinal problems, nervous system problems, fever, chills, fatigue, headache, insomnia, loss of sex drive, depression, numbness and tingling in hands, irritability, tremors, learning difficulties, irregular heartbeat, chest pains, sore and bleeding gums, immune suppression, birth defects, infertility, kidney/brain damage, anxiety, sensitive tongue, metallic taste in the mouth, allergies, dizziness, cataracts, insomnia, kidney damage, memory loss, nervousness, paralysis, seizures, vision loss, weakness, hearing loss, heart problems, chronic constipation, recurring diarrhea, parasites and fungus disorders, abnormal blood readings (MORE red blood cells than needed, lesions of the skin, hypersensitivity, restlessness, inability to relate to other people, poor coordination, brain fog (memory problems), monologue talking -sometimes for extremely long periods of time, difficulties in breathing, retinal bleeding, loss of interest in life, reduced capacity for work, vertigo, facial paralysis, a painful pull at the lower jaw towards the collar bone, joint pains, pains in lower back, weakness of muscles, pressure, pains, “needles” at lymph nodes under arms and in groin -also in the liver region, increased need for sleep, a gray ring around the cornea of the eye, feeling of being old, emotional problems, lack of concentration, a feeling of being disconnected from God.
Diseases related to mercury poisoning are: Alzheimer’s, all kinds of cancer, epilepsy, arthritis, pneumonia, bronchitis, gingivitis, neuralgia, Parkinson’s, Multiple Sclerosis, lupus, lymphoma, ALS (Lou Gehrig’s Disease), leukemia, sinusitis, chronic asthma, hypertension, ADD (attention deficit disorder), Chrohn’s Disease, Candidiasis (binds to mercury), glomerulonephritis (disease of the kidneys), autism (from mercury in vaccines), SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome), anemia, dermatitis, eczema, psoriaisis, Bruxism (grinding teeth), Fibromyalgia, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFIDS), insomnia, Epstein Barr.
The following is from the Journal of Advancement in Medicine, Volume 11, Number 1, Spring 1998 by James P. Frackelton, MD, FACAM, and R. Lyle Christensen, PhD. taken from their table,
Signs and Symptoms of Toxicity from Mercury Exposure
Interstitial pnemonitis, bronchitis, tightness or pain in chest, coughing, metallic taste, nausea, abdominal pain, vomiting diarrhea, headache, dark line of mercury sulfide on gums, teeth loosen ulcers on lips and cheeks, develop psychopathologic symptoms and muscle tremors
Mouth and face: inflammation, tender gums, gingivitis, teeth loosen with alveolar destruction, increased or decreased salivation, stomatitis and tongue tremors, nasal irritation, epistaxis, disturbances of taste and smell, loss of appetite, facial pallor.
tremor of eyelids and extracular muscles, fingers, arms and legs; neuralgia, paresthesias, ataxia, exaggerated knee jerks and altered plantar reflexes, vasomotor: perspiration and blushing, personality changes, erethism, irritability, irascibility, criticalness, excitability, melancholy, depression, shyness, timidity, moroseness, fatigue, weakness, drowsiness, memory defect.
Testing for Corrosion of Amalgam:
The rate of corrosion occurring in fillings can be estimated by measuring the electrical current generated by the fillings in the mouth. The higher the electrical currents are indicated, the greater the chemical reactivity. There are some aggravating factors in the process of amalgam corrosion.
- High temperature from foods and drinks. Higher temperatures increase the rate of corrosion which in turn increases the vapor pressure of mercury.
- Salty and acidic foods. These can contribute to or accelerate chemical reactions.
- Rinsing the oral cavity with hydrogen peroxide. This considerably increases the oxidationrate over simple dissolved oxygen. Hydrogen peroxide can even oxidize gold.
- Voluntary vomiting. This is a method of weight control practiced for centuries and probably more prevalent that suspected. This leaves high HC1,SH and elevated electrical conductivity in the mouth. The resultant increased reactions (ten times greater in aerated digestive juice) produce a marked increase in corrosion even though the length of time is relatively short. It has been noticed in studies that extremely detrimental effects of voluntary vomiting on solubility of composites in these patients.
- Multitudinous bacteria capable of oxidation, reduction and methylation.
Mercury & Related Issues
The Domino Effect
According to Dr. Bruce Shelton, MD (H), Di.Hom, director of the Allergy Center in Phoenix, Arizona, “Mercury amalgams are as close as you can get to the center of the illness universe, their use in dentistry has set us up for most of the health problems we see today.”
In his practice, Dr. Shelton frequently observes a domino effect of illness that begins with mercury toxicity. He reports that 90% of his patients who come in with allergies have an over-growth of the yeast-like fungus, Candida Albicans. This overgrowth can be due to heavy metals in the body, principally from mercury in the teeth, continually draining in minute amounts into body tissues.”
“The next stage” he says of the domino effect, “is that patients in this predicament typically develop leaky gut syndrome. If we do not totally digest and absorb our foods before they are broken to basic chemicals, then we have a ‘leaky gut.’… He says the “leaky gut syndrome s, in turn, to food allergies.” He remarks the soon the person becomes a universal reactor, allergic to multiple chemicals, to almost everything. Environmental illness is then at hand.
“Although dental work tends to be very expensive, if you can get a patient to have their teeth corrected, they will get well,” reports Dr. Shelton. Other contributing factors that are prevelant in this domino effect can also be an under-active thyroid, which is generally associated with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. He says that, “Specifically, in thyroid cases, the fifth tooth from the midline of the mouth (between the two front teeth), upper and lower, in both directions, frequently has a mercury filling or a root canal, or is in a state of degeneration in this situation. In other words, “potentially four different teeth can have a thyroid connection.”
Another situation in the domino effect is the parasites, usually associated with the yeast or fungus infection. Patients or clients can have everything from tapeworms, pinworms, hookworms, etc. and these can be expelled naturally through various supplements or frequency equipment instruments, and colonics.
“Mercury then works on the Central Nervous System and damages the myelin sheath around the nerves. Heavy metals such as mercury act as free radical which are highly reactive, charged particles that can cause damage to body tissues. This cumulative poison builds up in the body with repeated exposure having devastating effects. It then can prevent nutrients from entering the cells and wastes from leaving, and block enzymes necessary for the body’s detoxification processes,” says Dr. Shelton.
Again, he says, “Mercury can bind to the DNA (deoxyribonucleic acid) of cells, as well as to the cell membranes, distorting them and interfering with normal cell functions. When this happens, the immune system no longer recognizes the cell as part of the body and will attack it. This is the basis of an autoimmune disease.”
Note: “Free radicals are formed when molecules within cells react with oxygen (oxidize) as part of normal metabolic processes. Free radicals then begin to break down cells, especially if there are not enough free radical quenching nutrients, such as vitamins C and E, in the cell. While free radicals are normal products of metabolism, uncontrolled free-radical production plays a major role in the development of degenerative disease, including cancer and heart disease. Free radicals harmfully alter important molecules, such as proteins, enzymes, fats, even DNA. Other sources of free radicals include pesticides, industrial pollutants, smoking, alcohol, viruses, most infections, allergies, stress, even certain foods and excessive exercise.” Dr. Bruce Shelton, M.D.(H), Di.Hom.
Also Available is the Chart of Diseases Relating Specific Diseases to Specific Metals/Chemicals.
How Mercury Affects The Nervous System
We mentioned before how the different forms of mercury develop in a conversion process. Dr. Bruce Shelton says, “After elemental mercury from amalgam fillings is inhaled or ingested, it is converted to methyl mercury, the organic form of mercury. Methyl mercury, because it easily crosses the blood-brain barrier, has been associated with neuro-degenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s, multiple sclerosis, and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. It is important to mention that as toxic as elemental mercury is, methyl mercury is 100 times more toxic!
Once it infiltrates the body, mercury becomes a neurotoxin, according to Dietrich Klinghardt , M.D., Ph.D. a specialist in neural therapy, a process using local injections of anesthetics, such as lidocaine or procaine, to remove interferences in the body’s electrical network and thus relieve chronic pain, reverse injury, and clear energy blockages. He says, “that a neurotoxin is a substance the nerve cells voluntarily absorb, even though it is poisonous. They do this out of curiosity.”
Nerve endings in the peripheral nervous system constantly scan their environment, engulfing foreign particles and bringing them across the cell membrane for inspection. These substances may then travel all the way up from the foot to the spinal cord and get presented to the nerve cells there,” Dr.Klinghardt says. Further, “If the substance is judged to be harmful, the body tries to produce an antitoxin to neutralize it and eliminate it from the body.”
There are two problems when it comes to mercury according to Dr. Klinghardt. “First, as it travels up the nerve, mercury destroys the body’s mechanism, a substance called tubulin, for transporting along nerves. Burning the bridges behind it, it effectively destroys the nerve. Second, he says, the body has not yet learned how to make an anti-neurotoxin against mercury.”
According to Dr. Klinghardt, mercury levels can slowly dissipate over time from body tissues and from the teeth but it takes a much longer time period to get it out of the brain and the nervous system. There it binds firmly to a specific chemical compound that happens to exist there in the body’s highest concentrations. He says, that “the main devastating effect of mercury in the nervous system is that it interferes with the energy production inside each cell”. “The nerve cell is impaired in its ability to detoxify itself and excrete the mercury and in its ability to nurture itself. The cell becomes toxic and dies, or lives in a state of chronic malnutrition. A multitude of illnesses, associated with neurological symptoms, usually results. These are usually chronic viral, fungal and bacterial infections.
These chronic diseases are not a cause of the failure of the immune system, but by a conscious adaptation of the immune system to deal with a lethal/toxic heavy metal environment. Some practitioners and doctors refer to this situation as, “environmental polluted body terrain.
Since the nerves are usually damaged or compromised by mercury, it seems necessary to find something to help repair that damage. An Ayurvedic product (an herbal formula) called, Herbal Balance, ReGen Nerve helps promote healthy growth of nerves and is available through the product list in this report. Also, lecithin is known to not only repair the nerve endings but to help with the memory and neutralize toxins as they are moving. Both of these seem essential in any detoxification process. Lecithin, a food, may be found at any health store in capsule or granulated form.
In his research of mercury Dr. Zamm says, “It led me to the fact that the biggest environmental poison facing our country is the river of mercury running down your throat. That’s the number one environmental problem they could do something about now.”
Dr. Alfred Zamm, M.D., F.A.C.P. practiced for many years in Kingston, New York.”
You wouldn’t take a leaky thermometer, put it in your mouth, and leave it there 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Yet that’s what happens when an amalgam filling is installed in your mouth.”
Dr. Michael Ziff, D.D.S and Researcher and Publisher of BioProbe, a newsletter about dental amalgams.
“Mercury poisoning is impaired oxidation. It’s like having an invisible cord around your neck that’s strangling you, but you can’t feel that the cord is there. (The strangulations) is biochemical, but the principal is the same: mercury reduces the amount of oxygen that you get.”
Dr. Alfred Zamm, M.D., F.A.C.P. “.
“…mercury caused the smooth muscles in the walls of arteries to contract, thereby causing hypertension….Inorganic mercury caused blood vessel constriction and subsequent hypertension within minutes after exposure… minutes after exposure..”
Researchers at St. Louis’ Washington University (book, The Mercury In Your Mouth, by Quicksilver Associates.
Researchers at the Temple University Medical School and the Harvard Medical School found that “inorganic mercury caused actual pathological damage to the heart muscle tissue, which in turn severely decreased heart function to a point that results in a dramatic drop in blood pressure.”
The Mercury In Your Mouth, by Quicksilver Associates
“Slow healing” is in part a result of zinc deficiency. Mercury interferes with zinc metabolism.”
“Chronic fatigue” is a result of insufficient oxygen to the cells. Mercury interferes with the ability of hemoglobin to transport oxygen” and “…..ringing in the ears” is related to manganese deficiency. Mercury interferes with manganese metabolism.”
It’s All In Your Head, by Hal A. Huggins, DDS
“After he underwent a root canal at the age of 15, Earl suffered severe fatigue and anxiety. At 28, he had a nervous breakdown. At the age of 32, suffering from fatigue, anger, anxiety, back problems, low blood sugar, nervousness, ringing in his ears, concentration loss, and prematurely graying hair, he consulted acupuncturist. Dr. David J. Nickel, O.M.D., L.Ac. of Santa Monica, California performed a mercury vapor analysis on Earl’s teeth and found that the level of toxic fumes from Earl’s six mercury amalgam fillings was 42 times higher than the Environmental Protection Agency’s maximum allowable limit.
He was put on supplements and there was significant improvement in his metabolic rate and blood sugar levels, he had all six mercury amalgams and his root canal tooth removed. Earl said, “I don’t remember when I have ever felt so good.”
“Mercury is associated with 258 different symptoms and copper with over 100. Almost all my patients who had their mercury-based fillings removed show moderate to dramatic improvement in their health in usually less than one month.”
Dr. David J. Nickel, O.M.D., L.Ac of Santa Monica California (from Chronic Fatigue, Fibromyalgia & Environmental Illness, by Burton Goldberg.
“Research has demonstrated that the body’s tissues – especially in the brain, kidneys, jaw, lungs, gastrointestinal tract, and liver -absorb and store mercury.”
Chronic Fatigue, Fibromyalgia & Environmental Illness, by Burton Goldberg