Monday, October 5, 2009

Mercury Poisoning is a Serious Health Issue

Mercury poisoning is increasing in the human population but the good news is that if caught early and you employ elimination strategies, then many of the side effects are often reversible.

Mercury, a common POP (persistent organic pollutant), is commonly found in the environment as a result of burning fossil fuels and in high concentrations can cause serious harm to your health. It is transformed by bacteria in the environment into methylmercury which is extremely toxic. These toxins most often enter the food chain through water and water runoff, dumping by factories, and inefficient disposal. From there they enter into food sources such as plants, fish, shellfish and animals which are then consumed by unsuspecting human consumers. Methylmercury is also an agent that undergoes biomagnification. This means that as the it travels along the food chain it increases in concentration. The higher up the food chain the greater the concentration as is the case with tuna fish. Serious side effects of mercury toxicity include birth defects, blindness, deafness, and mental deficiency. Symptoms of mercury poisoning

* Impairment of the peripheral vision
* Disturbances in sensations ("pins and needles" feelings, numbness) usually in the hands feet and sometimes around the mouth
* Lack of coordination of movements, such as writing
* Impairment of speech, hearing, walking;
* Muscle weakness
* Skin rashes
* Mood swing
* Memory loss
* Mental disturbance
* Swollen lymph nodes
* Fatigue
* Loss of balance
* Inability to concentrate
* Diminished intelligence
* Impaired social behavior

Two important suggestions would be to use a water filter to purify your drinking and cooking water. Secondly, to prevent mercury poisoning in children do not feed fresh or canned Albacore or White tuna fish to your children more than once a month if they are under 6 yrs old and no more than twice a month if they are between 6 and 12 years old. This is due to the high mercury content and its effects on the brain sometimes resulting in diminished mental ability, coordination and problem solving skills. Chunk light tuna is better but still should be limited to no more than three times per month. This applies to women of childbearing age as well since mercury harms unborn fetuses. It is unfortunate that a mother also exposes her newborn if she has mercury in her system since it travels into the breast and breast milk. As a matter of fact, the highest levels of these contaminants are found in breast milk. That being said, mother’s milk is still the best food for babies. The massive nutrient value in balanced amounts is best at helping to develop a strong immune system for babies. So, don’t quit breast feeding just eat and drink smarter. It would also be a good idea to limit consumption of shellfish. For more information see Mercury poisoning causes, symptoms and treatment

Symptoms of Mercury Poisoning

Mercury Factsheet
Remove Heavy Metals Like Mercury From Your Body
Image: Fotosearch


Brian, the old man said...

Great information. I usually filter the water I drink but I do love my tuna fish. I guess I will start eating a little less of it now though. Thanks.

TC said...

I used to eat tuna every day and occasionally twice a day when I was in my twenties. Hopefully it didn't cause to much permanent damage. Now I only eat it about 2 times a month if that.

Sharon said...

Very interesting post. I had no idea how severe Mercury poisoning was. I stay away from all bottom-dwelling fish as much as I can (i.e. Swordfish).

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