Mercury Awareness: Do You Know?
By Linda Shepard

Mercury, a known neurotoxin, passes both the placenta and the blood/brain barrier, yet it still gets injected into and implanted in the bodies of humans on a regular basis. We need to know what goes into our bodies and have a chance to choose once we have the facts. Several factors make this more challenging than one would imagine.

Many products which contain mercury do not have any sort of warning label and many individuals who administer those products do not mention the dangers. A number of the most common mercury-containing products do not even include the word mercury.

According to the Environmental Protection Agency, "Mercury is a persistant, bioaccumulative, and toxic (PBT) pollutant." The Merck Veterinary Manual refers to mercury as a "mutagen" teratogen" and "embryocidal". Newspaper articles have warned pregnant women to limit their intake of certain fish known to have high levels of mercury and yet provide no information about other more common sources of exposure.

The American Dental Association refers to mercury dental fillings by the aliases of "silver fillings" or "amalgam fillings" when in fact they contain approximately 50% mercury. Remember when you first got the fillings all shiny and silver-colored, then within a few days or weeks they turned black? The fillings release small amounts of mercury into your system each time you chew, drink, brush or grind your teeth, and every time the dentist polishes them. You swallow tiny particles and breathe in the vapors. Mercury exposure can manifest in a wide variety of ways and affect any system of the body. Studies show links to infertility, birth defects, Multiple Sclerosis, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, autism, Alzheimer's Disease, and more.

A number of vaccines also contain mercury in the form of a preservative called thimerosal. Manufacturers have begun removing thimerosal from most of the childhood vaccines but some doctors and clinics will use the old stock still on the shelf before switching to the newer ones. The current practice of administering numerous vaccines on the same day, the increase in sheer number of vaccines, and the use of multiple vaccines has brought the amount of mercury exposure for young children to an unprecedented high. In addition to childhood vaccines, the flu shot, Rhogam contains thimerosal. Bayer makes a mercury-free WinRho but those with the Rh factor difference between mother and fetus must request it by name. Mercury also passes into the breast milk.

If you suspect mercury toxicity from your dental fillings, please thoroughly educate yourself on the subject. Improper removal and poor choice of replacement materials may cause more problems and additional exposure. Books on the topic include "Amalgam Illness: Diagnosis and Treatment" by Andrew Hall Cutler, PhD (of Samamish, WA), "Toxic Time-Bomb" by Sam Ziff, "The Complete Guide to Mercury Toxicity from Dental Fillings" by Joyal Taylor, DDS, "Beating Alzheimer's" by Tom Warren (of the Seattle area), and "Infertility and Birth Defects: Is Mercury From Silver Dental Fillings an Unsuspected Cause?" by Sam Ziff & Dr. Michael F. Ziff.

For more on the vaccines read "What Your Doctor May Not Tell You About Children's Vaccinations" by Dr. Stephanie Cave or the cover story, "What About Mercury?" of the March/April 2001 issue of Mothering Magazine. For the history of mercury poisoning from various sources including industrial waste, treated grain, and mercury mining see "Quicksilver and Slow Death", National Geographic, October, 1972.

On the subject of heavy metals, the book "Fateful Harvest" by Duff Wilson (Seattle Times investigative reporter) is of interest. It deals with the LEGAL recycling of toxic waste into fertilizer.


Author's Note
Members of the Mercury Awareness Team, 855 Trosper Road 108-174, Olympia, WA 98512, advocate for legislation for the Right to Know and Informed Consent for Washington dental consumers. You may also contact

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