A brief history of Mercury
The name ‘mercury’ is derived from the Latin word for the Roman god of the same name, while its symbol on the periodic table, Hg, has been taken from the word hydrargyros, which is Greek for water and silver.
This is a silver colored metallic chemical element that has a unique property of being liquid at room temperature. The element is lively in nature, as it forms beads when poured onto a smooth surface. It has many uses in equipment like float valves, barometers, manometers, thermometers, electrical switches of some types, and other varieties of scientific apparatus. Mercury is obtained by heating a mineral called cinnabar.
Mercury has been around since ancient times. It was known to the ancient Hindu and Chinese civilizations and has been found in Egyptian tombs dating back to 1500BC. Tibet, China, and India thought mercury had great curative powers to heal fractures and extend one’s lifespan.
The Greeks used it in ointments, and the Romans used it in cosmetics. 500 BC saw mercury being used in amalgams with other metals. Dental amalgams have elemental mercury as their main ingredient. It was introduced in the western world about 200 years ago, and issues about its safety began shortly thereafter. The debate over its toxicity raged for decades.
The American Society of Dental Surgeons in 1843 had its members pledge that amalgam would not be used.
In 1859, The American Dental Association had members who considered amalgam safe.
1993 saw the US Public Health Service report that, “…amalgam fillings release small amounts of mercury vapor, but in such a small amount that it has not been shown to cause any adverse health effects.”
Despite this, 2002 saw California becoming the first state to ban the future use of mercury fillings.
The danger of mercury
This is an element that is a neurotoxin and is more potent than any other chemical element in the world. Mercury does not break down in the environment, and it can cause untold harm to the human brain. Due to its inability to break down, it accumulates and poisons its environment. Mercury leaches from dental amalgam fillings on a continuous basis. It has been found that Mercury comes out of amalgam as mercury vapor, which is absorbed through the lungs into arterial blood at a rate of 80%. It has been scientifically demonstrated that mercury is more toxic than lead, cadmium and even arsenic.
1. Mercury vapor poisoning
- Mercury vapor exposure has NO harmless level
- Mercury vapor gets absorbed directly into the brain
- After chewing, mercury vapor levels will remain raised for at least another 90 minutes
2. Mercury amalgam poisoning
The following are the ways in which mercury amalgam affects the human system. The element has the potential to find its way deep into the brain, blood, and cells in the body.
- Mercury from amalgam gets a free ride via the blood.
- It results in a slow buildup of mercury in body tissues
- It gets stored in the fetus and infant before the mother
- It is also stored in breast milk
- Mercury is stored mainly in the kidneys, liver, and brain
- Kidney damage is another result of mercury poisoning
- Mercury from amalgam causes a 50% reduction in kidney filtration
- Migration happens through the teeth or tooth filling
- Mercury from amalgam is absorbed into the body at a rate of 3 to 17 mcg / day
- It can be stored in every cell of the body
- Each area affected will produce its own set of symptoms
- Amalgam fillings produce electrical currents, which are potentially injurious to health
- Brain mercury levels are in a direct linear proportion to the number of surfaces of amalgam fillings in the mouth
3. Other dangers of mercury poisoning
The following are some other dangers that one has to be aware of. The element has been found to affect almost all parts of the body at a very deep level which is not easily treatable. Prevention is of utmost importance due to this aspect of mercury.
- Mercury kills cells
- It binds to sulphydryl groups that exist in almost all enzymatic processes
- All metabolic processes will be hampered by mercury
- It also binds to hemoglobin in the red blood cells, thus reducing the oxygen carrying capacity
- Mercury damages blood vessels, thereby reducing blood supply to the tissues
- It is transported along nerve fibers
- The element also affects the placenta
- Mercury reduces reproductive function
- Mercury depletes the immune system
- The element induces many auto immune diseases
- This element causes an increase in the number and severity of all allergies
- It can also cross the blood-brain barrier
- Mercury can cause Alzheimer’s disease
- The element is known to cause single strand breaks in DNA
- Mercury levels in the blood cannot be assessed by blood or urine levels
- Dental personnel are severely affected by exposure to mercury
Mercury fillings are best removed by professionals who will not use traditional drilling. Drilling will only send mercury directly to your blood stream.
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