Synergistic Effects of Mercury with Other Toxic Metals: Extreme Synergistic Toxicity
Mercury and lead are extremely neurotoxic and cytotoxic, but their combined synergistic effect is much worse(1,4). A dose of mercury sufficient to kill 1% of tested rats, when combined with a dose of lead sufficient to kill less than 1% of rats, resulted in killing 100 % of rats tested(1a,4). Thus with combined exposure the safe dose is 1/100 as much as the dose individually. Studies in Australia have confirmed similar relationships hold for people(6). This means most people in the U.S. are getting dangerous levels of these metals, enough to cause some neurologic effects.
Similar is true for synergistic effect with other toxic metals like cadmium and arsenic(1), and with other toxic chemicals like PCBs(2a) and pesticides and tobacco smoke(2b). The level of mercury thimerosal in vaccines has been shown to be highly neurotoxic, but the effect was found to be much larger due to the synergistic effect with aluminum, which is also in most vaccines(4). Studies using U.S. CDC data have found thimerosal from vaccines to be major factors in autism and ADHD(5), along with prenatal rhogam shots which contain high levels of mercury thimerosal and are given to some RH negative women during pregnancy.
Dental amalgam has been documented by hundreds of thousands of medical lab tests to be the largest source of mercury in most adults or children who have several amalgam fillings(7,8). Mothers dental amalgams have been documented to be the largest source or mercury in the fetus, with levels in the fetus higher than in the mothers blood(8), and similar for mercury levels in young infants. Medical lab tests commonly find significant levels of other toxic metals such as lead, arsenic, cadmium, antimony, etc. in both adult and childrens hair or urine tests(12), and commonly find related adverse health effects such as ADHD and learning disabilities.
Autism increased in the U.S. more than 10 fold in the 1990s. According to the Florida Dept. of Education, the numbers increased from approx. 300 to over 4000 during this time period. There have likewise been large increases in the number of children with ADHD and other developmental conditions, according to the National Academy of Sciences and other sources(12) . A major factor in this appears to be the large increase in vaccinations given to infants, as noted in the previous post. (more documentation available at the childrens neurological page, www.flcv.com/indexk.html
There was an increase of over 45% in learning disabilities in Pennsylvania between 1990 and 2000(3). But the study showed that the county highest on the Chemical Pollution Scorecard, Montgomery, had an increase more than double that of the rest of the state. Montgomery County had an increase in ADHD of 32.7% and an increase in autism of 310%. An analysis of the U.S. Dept. of Education report on the prevalence of various childhood conditions among school children found that the rate of autism and speech disorders increased with increasing levels of thimerosal exposure from vaccines(5). A study of environmental mercury levels in Texas school districts found a 61 percent increase in autism and a 43 percent increase in special education cases for every 1,000 pounds of mercury released into the environment(9a). Autism prevalence diminished by 2 percent for every 10 miles of distance from a mercury source. Another similar study found similar results and estimated economic costs due to disability or lower IQ (9b). Fossil fuel-burning power plants were the largest source of the widespread mercury pollution(9) but dental amalgam was the largest source in sewers and a significant source of environmental mercury in water bodies, fish, and air emissions(10).
Dr Michael Godfrey and dentist Noel Campbell write:"...a lethal dose (LD1 [enough to kill 1% of the rats]) was combined with a 1/20th LD1 of lead, resulting in a LD 100 [100% death rate] in the test animals."We have recently found that considerable amounts of lead may be excreted with the mercury following DMPS provocation. Our preliminary investigations appear to indicate that a synergistic effect could be identified by multiplying the lead and mercury concentrations together, after adjusting to IG of urine creatinine. We have termed this the Campbell-Godfrey factor (C-G factor). Chronic-ally affected patients may have high levels of either metal or a high total C-G factor. Those with the highest C-G factor appear to be the worst affected, thus indicating that the synergism in animals is replicated in man."
1. (a) Schubert J, Riley EJ, Tyler SA. Combined effects in toxicology. A rapid systematic testing procedure: cadmium, mercury, and lead. Toxicol Environ Health 1978;4(5/6):763-776; & (b) Tabata M, Kumar Sarker A, Nyarko E. Enhanced conformational changes in DNA in the presence of mercury(II), cadmium(II) and lead(II) porphyrins. J Inorg Biochem. 2003 Feb 1;94(1-2):50-8; & (c)Traore A, Bonini M, Dano SD, Creppy EE. Synergistic effects of some metals contaminating mussels on the cytotoxicity of the marine toxin okadaic acid. Arch Toxicol. 1999 Aug;73(6):289-95; & (d) Sanchez DJ, Belles M, Albina ML, Sirvent JJ, Domingo JL. Nephrotoxicity of simultaneous exposure to mercury and uranium in comparison to individual effects of these metals in rats. Biol Trace Elem Res. 2001 Winter;84(1-3):139-54.
2. (a)Philippe Grandjean P, White RF et al. Neurobehavioral deficits associated with PCB in 7-year-old children prenatally exposed to seafood neurotoxicants. Neurotoxicology and Teratology 2001;223(4):305-317; & (b) Steevens JA, Benson WH. Toxicokinetic interactions and survival of Hyalella azteca exposed to binary mixtures of chlorpyrifos and methyl mercury. Aquat Toxicol. 2001 Feb;51(4):377-88; & (c) El-Safty IA, Shouman AE, Amin NE. Nephrotoxic effects of mercury exposure and smoking among egyptian workers in a fluorescent lamp factory. Arch Med Res. 2003 Jan-Feb;34(1):50-5; & (d) Hultberg B, Andersson A, Isaksson A. Interaction of metals and thiols in cell damage and glutathione distribution: potentiation of mercury toxicity by dithiothreitol. Toxicology. 2001 Jan 2;156(2-3):93-100.
3. Pennsylvania Dept. of Education, 2003, Study of learning disability incidence in Montgomery County, Pennsylvania, 1990 and 2000; & ""Polluting Our Future: Chemical Emissions in the U.S. that Affect Child Development and Learning,"" by Physicians For Social Responsibility, at (202) 898-0150, email@example.com
4. Haley, BE, Pendergrass JC ,Lovell, M., Univ. of Kentucky Chemistry Dept., paper presented to the Institute of Medicine Immunization Safety Review Committee, Spring 2001, & Affidavit Of Boyd E. Haley. Professor And Chair. Department Of Chemistry. University Of Kentucky: Thimerosal Containing Vaccines and Neurodevelopment Outcomes http://www.vran.org/vaccines/mercury/mer-haley.htm
5. Geier M.R., Geier DA; Thimerosal in Childhood Vaccines, Neurodevelopmental Disorders, and Heart Disease in the U.S. ; J of Amer Physicians and Surgeons, Vol 8(1), Spring 2003; & (b) Bradstreet J, Geier DA, et al, A case control study of mercury burden in children with Autisitic Spectrum Disorders, J of Amer Physicians and Surgeons, Vol 8(3), Summer 2003, & (c) A case series of children with apparent mercury toxic encephalopathies manifesting with clinical symptoms of regressive autistic disorders. Geier DA, Geier MR.J Toxicol Environ Health A. 2007 May 15;70(10):837-51
6. M. Godfrey and N. Campbell, Are Amalgam Fillings Safe for Lead-poisoned People? LEAD Action News vol 5 no 2 1997 ISSN 1324-6011 http://www.lead.org.au/lanv5n2/lanv5n2-4.html
7. Documentation of High Levels of Mercury Exposure from Dental Amalgam Fillings, Review, B. Windham (Ed.), 2007, www.flcv.com/damspr1.html
8. Effects of Mercury from Mothers Dental Amalgam and other sources on the fetus and infants, B. Windham (Ed), 2007, www.flcv.com/fetaln.html
9. Environmental mercury release, special education rates, and autism disorder: an ecological study of Texas, Health and Place, R.F. Palmer et al, March 2005 http://www.generationrescue.org/pdf/seed.pdf & Mercury pollution from power plants, NWF, http://www.nwf.org/wildlife/pdfs/MercuryMythsFacts.pdf
& (b) Mental retardation and prenatal methylmercury toxicity., Trasande L, Schechter CB, Haynes KA, Landrigan PJ., Department of Community and Preventive Medicine, Center for Children's Health and the Environment, New York, New York. Am J Ind Med. 2006 Mar;49(3):153-8, http://www.melisa.org/abstracts.php#1
10. Dental amalgam is the largest source of mercury in sewers and a significant source of mercury in water bodies, fish, and the environment, EPA & www.flcv.com/damspr2f.html
11. Mercury levels in fish and health effects of mercury, B Windham (Ed), 2007, www.flcv.com/fishhg.html
12. Neurological effects of toxic metal exposures, Review, B Windham (Ed), 2007, www.flcv.com/tmlbn.html
*. note that a high percentage of Gulf state residents have been documented to have high levels of mercury exposure(Mobile Register study, www.flcv.com/fishhg.html )
The original evidence cited for the synergistic effects of lead and mercury (and cadmium) comes from a 1978 paper by Schubert et al published in Michigan:"...the administration of an essentially no-response level (LD1) of a mercury salt together with 1/20 of the LD1 of a lead salt killed all of the animals [rats]."
The questions raised by these studies and clinical experience are: is it safe for lead poisoned people to have mercury fillings? Should CLAS advise parents of lead-poisoned kids never to allow these fillings in their kids mouths? Should CLAS advise lead-poisoned people who are planning to conceive for instance, to have their amalgam fillings replaced, along with DMSA chelation therapy and nutrient replenishment therapy, well in advance of trying to conceive? Is it acceptable for anyone to be exposed to lead and mercury (and cadmium) as they are in mining and smelting communities? Why arent the DMPS provocation test, DMSA chelation therapy or amalgam removal procedures claimable under Medicare? When will amalgam be banned or phased out?
Consuming two toxic metals in combination, such as lead and cadmium, or lead and mercury, can have a synergistic effect, meaning one metal has the ability to enhance the toxicity of another metal in amounts smaller than what it would usually take that metal to be toxic.(5) Mercury in combination with PCBs through diet can also have a synergisitic effect.(6) Readers might be curious to discover just how this synergistic effect is detected.
Laboratory animals are often used to test the toxicity of a substance. In the case of testing lead and mercury together, rats were used. Rats were dosed with an amount of mercury that would cause death in 1% of the rat population within about 5 days. This is called lethal dose 1% or LD1. The laboratory rats were also tested with a LD1 dose of lead. What is frightening is that when mercury and lead LD1 dosages were combined, there was a 100% mortality rate; all of the rats died, demonstrating that mercury and lead together are highly synergistic in their toxic effects.(5)
It is rather disturbing to realize that some populations of Canadian children are routinely ingesting chronic doses of lead, mercury, and PCBs together in their diet. (1) Wheatley B and Paradis S. Balancing human exposure, risk and reality: Questions raised by the Canadian Aboriginal Methylmercury Program. Neurotoxicology 1996;17(1):241-250.
(2) Starnes R. Lead shotgun pellets contaminate game birds. The Ottawa Citizen 1998 Dec. 17; Section A:20.
(3) Toxic Chemicals Poison Inuit Food. The Ottawa Citizen 1998 July 5; Section A:5.
(4) Health Canada. Riedel D, Tremblay N, Tompkins E. (Eds.) State of Knowledge Report for Environmental Contaminants and Human Health in the Great Lakes Basin, Ottawa: 1997; p. 275
(5) Schubert J, Riley EJ, Tyler SA. Combined effects in toxicology. A rapid systematic testing procedure: cadmium, mercury, and lead. Toxicol Environ Health 1978;4(5/6):763-776.
(6) Philippe Grandjean P, Pal Weihea P, Bursed VW, Needham LL, Storr-Hansene E, Heinzowf B, Debesc F, Muratag K, Simonsenh H, Ellefsenc P, Budtz-Jψψrgenseni E, Keidingi N and White RF. Neurobehavioral deficits associated with PCBs in 7-year-old children prenatally exposed to seafood neurotoxicants. Neurotoxicology and Teratology 2001;223(4):305-317
Learning Disabilities Statistics by Penn State Graduate Students 2002 Source: Montgomery County Intermediate Unit (IU 23) was compared to (IU 17)Statewide Statistics: Pennsylvania Department of Education Census Figures: 1990 and 2000 Autism: Several websites including: naar.org, exploringautism.org, nich.nih.gib/autism and Naar
Pennsylvania Dept. of Education, Study of learning disability incidence in Montgomery County, Pennsylvania, 2003; & Polluting Our Future: Chemical Emissions in the U.S. that Affect Child Development and Learning, by Physicians For Social Responsibility, at (202) 898-0150, firstname.lastname@example.org
There was an increase of over 45% in learning disabilities in Pennsylvania between 1990 and 2000
(3). But a study showed that the county highest on the Chemical Pollution Scorecard had an increase more than double that of the rest of the state. Montgomery County had an increase in ADHD of 32.7% and an increase in autism of 310%. 1990 to 2000 Montgomery County +94 % Least Polluted Comparison Area + 40.2 %Bradford, Lycoming, Sullivan and Tioga Counties Pennsylvania + 46.6 % 1990 to 2000 Total Enrollment in Montgomery County Schools Down - 10.9 %
Learning Disabilities have Risen Threefold in Montgomery County in comparison to the population - from 1990 to 2000
1990 to 2000
Montgomery County Intermediate Unit Total Enrollment
+ 32.7 %
Montgomery County - Learning Impairment Services
+ 32.7 %
Least Polluted Counties - Learning Impairment Services
+ 1 %
1990 to 2000 - ADD/ADHD and Autism
Montgomery County ADD/ADHD
+ 32.7 %
Montgomery County Autism
+ 310 %
·· Montgomery County is one of the most chemically polluted counties in the nation, according to Score Cards pollution indicator. ·· ADD and AUTISM are Neurodevelopmental Disorders. ·· Heavily emitted neurological and developmental toxins in Montgomery County could be Major Factors in Increased Learning Disabilities, ADD, and Autism. Vinyl Chloride, Mercury, Methyl Isobuatyl Ketone, TCE, and Lead are all neurological toxins. The Pottstown Landfill is a source of ALL these neurological toxins. They travel downwind into many parts of Montgomery County. Researchers had difficulty determining exact amounts emitted by the Pottstown Landfill, since landfills are not required to report to EPAs Toxic Release Inventory. ·· Occidental Chemical in Pottstown has emitted over 1½½ Million Pounds of Vinyl Chloride into Montgomery Countys air since 1988 and has ranked 1st and 2nd in the nation in Vinyl Chloride emissions.
Montgomery County Children Have Doubled Increases In Learning DisabilitiesCompared To Lesser Polluter Counties and the State - 1990 to 2000
Montgomery County is one of the most POLLUTED Counties in the Nation, according to Score Cards pollution indicator. Ironically, all Pottstown Landfills toxic emissions are not included by Score Card.
Children everywhere are experiencing unacceptable increases in learning disabilities which suggest a serious problem. These disabilities are clearly the result of complex interactions among environmental, social, and genetic factors that impact children during vulnerable periods of development. There is new understanding about the effects of environmental chemicals on these processes. Developmental disabilities, including attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), autism, and related neurodevelopmental diseases affect millions of American children. The consequences of these disorders are often tragic. The family, social and economic costs are immense, and the disabilities can be life-long. Studies of animals and children show subtle changes in the concentrations of normally occurring chemicals such as hormones as well as the presence of toxic agents like lead, mercury, or PCBs can produce profound and permanent changes in the developing nervous system. These can lead to decrements in mental performance. Developmental processes are extremely vulnerable to environmental insult. For detailed information refer to In Harms Way - Toxic Threats to Child Development, by Greater Boston Physicians for Social Responsibility and Polluting Our Future: Chemical Emissions in the U.S. that Affect Child Development and Learning, by Physicians For Social Responsibility, at (202) 898-0150, email@example.com Studies demonstrate that a variety of chemicals commonly encountered in industry can contribute to developmental, learning, and behavioral disabilities. Developmental neurotoxicants are chemicals that are toxic to the developing brain. They include the metals lead, mercury, cadmium, and manganese, and pesticides such as organophosphates. PCBs, and DIOXINS bioaccumulate and are directly toxic to cells and neurotransmitters. With widespread use and disposal of all these chemicals and metals which affect learning disabilities, it is easy to understand why learning disabilities increased in PA by 46.6%, and even in the least polluted PA counties by 40.2% from 1990 to 2000. But, how do we explain such shocking Montgomery County increases in learning disabilities (more than twice the state and comparison area) 94%, ADHD (32.7%), and autism at 310%? This represents an epidemic. ACE believes Montgomery County children face a chemical plague. A major factor is toxic air releases. The kinds of neurotoxins which cause learning disabilities, ADHD, and autism are emitted into the air 7 days a week from the Pottstown Landfill and Occidental Chemical. Both emit unknown amounts of dioxin. The Pottstown Landfill emits synergistic and additive combinations of nearly every neurotoxin. These can become far more toxic as they synergize. Mercury is just one example. Occidental Chemical in Pottstown has emitted 1½½ million pounds of vinyl chloride since 1988. These emissions travel downwind through many parts of Montgomery County. **********************************************
Combined effects in toxicology--a rapid systematic testing procedure: cadmium, mercury, and lead.Schubert J, Riley EJ, Tyler SA. J Toxicol Environ Health. 1978 Sep-Nov;4(5-6):763-76.
A testing procedure is described for the assessment of the toxicological response (e.g., acute toxicity or mutagenicity) of any combination and number of chemical, physical, and biological agents, with no more effort for a particular combination than for a single agent. The method provides a simple, sensitive, and quantitative index of synergism, antagonism, and additivity, and it has been demonstrated experimentally in rats by determining the acute lethality of combinations of cadmium, mercury, and lead salts. In a combination of two metal salts, the dose of one metal of the pair was fixed at or near the no-effect level while the dose of the second metal was increased until the entire dose-response curve was obtained. To evaluate interactions of the three metals, the previous pair of metals were kept fixed at their combined extrapolated LD1 level, and the third metal was increased. The statistical treatment of the data employed a computer program that did not involve probit transformations, but rather the approximate linear relationship between the fractional response and the logarithm of the dose. A particular combination could be synergistic, antagonistic, or additive, depending on the relative doses employed. Generally, a combination was synergistic when the most toxic member was present at or near its LD1 dose in the presence of the much less toxic member; the same combination was protective when the least toxic member was present at or near its LD1 dose. The results clarify apparently contradictory reports regarding the biological effects of metal combinations. The application of the testing procedure to combinations of mutagens is described, and an example is cited involving, for a particular bacterial mutagen, a combination of N-methyl-N'-nitro-N-nitrosoguanidine with ethylmethanesulfonate.
Toxic Overload: Assessing the Role of Mercury in Autism By Boyd E. Haley Issue 115, November/December 2002 From 1996 to 1997, J. Curtis Pendergrass, PhD, did some experiments in my research laboratory at the University of Kentucky that confirmed the toxicity of thimerosal in vaccines. The results appeared on our website (www.altcorp.com), where they attracted the attention of some parents of autistic children.
These parents informed me that increased mandatory vaccination of infants was, in their opinion, the cause of an apparent epidemic of autism. This was the first time I had heard of this situation. The rationale for considering vaccinations as the cause of their children's problems seemed sensible and worth an investigation. I would like to state here that I am a very strong supporter of the national vaccine program, and that nothing in this article should be construed to imply that parents should avoid getting their children vaccinated. But I do recommend avoiding vaccines that contain thimerosal.
My laboratory was well experienced in mercury research. We had earlier demonstrated that mercury, when exposed to normal human brain tissue homogenates, is capable of causing many of the same biochemical aberrancies found in Alzheimer's diseased (AD) brains.1-4 Also, rats exposed to mercury vapor show the same major protein aberrancy as AD brains. Specifically, the rapid inactivation of important brain enzymes occurs following the addition of low levels of mercury or exposure to mercury vapor, and these same enzymes are significantly inhibited in AD brains.5 Also, mercury exposure to neurons in culture by other researchers, at a concentration lower than that found in many human brains, has now been shown to produce three of the widely accepted pathological diagnostic hallmarks of AD.6,7
Therefore, we hypothesized that exposure to mercury is involved in the etiology of AD, or at least would exacerbate this disease. We also proposed that other heavy metals, such as lead and cadmium, which act synergistically to enhance the toxicity of mercury, could be involved. Additionally, we proposed that exposure to organic-mercury compounds like methyl mercury from fish and ethyl mercury from thimerosal would also enhance the toxicity of any exposure to mercury. The early work of Dr. Pendergrass confirmed this with pure thimerosal, with some interesting additional observations. First, in human brain samples the exposure to mercury dramatically reduced the viability of a major brain protein called tubulin, but had little if any effect on another major protein, actin. Both tubulin and actin are critically important for the growth of dendrites or maintenance of axon structures of neurons. Exposing neurons to mercury rapidly results in the stripping of tubulin from the axon structure, leaving bare neurofibrils that form the tangles that are the diagnostic hallmark of AD. Thimerosal, like mercury, also rapidly reduces the viability of tubulin; in addition, however, it abolishes the viability of actin. This likely represents a major difference in the mechanism of mercury versus organic-mercury (more neurotoxic) toxicity. However, both mercury and organic-mercury inhibit tubulin viability and would work in concert to damage neurons of the central nervous system.
We therefore decided to investigate vaccines with and without thimerosal present as a preservative, using human brain tissues. To date the data have been very consistent: the toxicity of the vaccines is primarily dependent on the presence of thimerosal and, in my opinion, would be classified as severely toxic to numerous brain proteins. In the spring of 2001 these data were presented to the Institute of Medicine Immunization Safety Review Committee, which concluded its analysis by suggesting that thimerosal involvement in autism was a plausible hypothesis. Since then I have formed a collaboration with one of my colleagues, Mark Lovell, PhD, who uses cultured neurons in some of his experiments. Using his cultured neuron system, we studied the extent of neurotoxicity of pure thimerosal and of vaccines with and without thimerosal present. The experiments were done as follows: Neurons were grown in culture for 24 hours. Then pure thimerosal or vaccines were added to test cultures. The death of neurons was observed for the next 24 hours and compared to the death of neurons in the absence of toxicant.
The results were almost identical to the results observed with brain tissues: vaccines with thimerosal present were much more toxic than thimerosal-free vaccines. Pure thimerosal was toxic at the low nanomolar level--an extremely low concentration, about 10,000 times less than the thimerosal concentration found in most vaccines. These results leave little doubt about thimerosal being the toxic agent in the vaccines. However, many vaccines contain aluminum ions that have neurotoxic properties, and aluminum was once considered a factor in AD etiology. So we tested aluminum in the same system.
Aluminum is not nearly as toxic to neurons in culture as is thimerosal. However, we had earlier observed with mercury that the presence of other metals would enhance toxicity. Experiments were done to determine if aluminum would increase the toxicity of very low levels of thimerosal. The results were unequivocal: the presence of aluminum dramatically increased the rate of neuronal death caused by thimerosal. Therefore, the aluminum and thimerosal combination found in vaccines produces a toxic mixture that cannot be compared to situations where thimerosal alone is the toxic exposure.
The enhanced toxicity of thimerosal created by the addition of aluminum represents a problem with all forms of mercury toxicity. Synergism of toxic metals is well known. A slightly toxic solution of lead, mixed with a slightly toxic solution of mercury, results in a very toxic mixture. This is similar to the enhanced adverse reactivity to thimerosal found in optomological solutions, when subjects were prescribed to take the antibiotic tetracycline. For some reason, tetracycline increased the ocular toxic reaction to thimerosal. We have done some experiments to determine if certain antibiotics could also increase thimerosal-induced neuronal death in the neuron culture system. Our preliminary results indicate that this is the case, especially with tetracycline and ampicillin. Further research is needed in this area for accurate evaluation. But our results support previous reports and indicate how important it is to check out the effects of other compounds on the exacerbation of mercury and organic-mercury compound toxicity.
One of the conundrums of autism is why there is an approximate ratio of four boys to every girl who gets this disease. Dr. Lovell therefore tested the possibility that this could be hormone related. The latest results were quite marked in their effects. Neurons that were pre-incubated with estrogen demonstrated substantial protection against thimerosal-induced neuron death. In contrast, the addition of testosterone caused a very large increase in thimerosal-induced neuron death. A low nanomolar level of thimerosal that gave less than 5 percent neuron death in three hours could be increased to 100 percent cell death by the addition of one micromolar level of testosterone. Testosterone alone at this level also showed less than 5 percent cell death. The opposing effects of estrogen and testosterone may explain the gender-based four-to-one ratio. Most important, the tremendous enhancement of thimerosal toxicity by testosterone points out the impact of synergistic effects when addressing mercury toxicity.
Those involved in promoting the use of mercury in medicine and dentistry favor the old adage "Dose makes the toxin," and pick a supposedly safe level based on testing young, healthy mammals that have been exposed to mercury compounds. The synergistic enhancement of thimerosal toxicity by testosterone and aluminum demonstrates that no one can pick a concentration of mercury or organic-mercury and say with confidence, "This is a safe dose for human infants"--at least not with our current level of knowledge.
MMR (measles-mumps-rubella) has been widely discussed as a vaccine involved in autism-related problems. Our studies did not find MMR vaccines (no thimerosal added) to be nearly as neurotoxic as thimerosal-containing vaccines. So how does this fit into the observations of measles virus in the intestines of a large percentage of autistic children?
My theory, and it is only a theory at this time, is based on the fact that thimerosal is an inhibitor of the brain protein tubulin. One of the jobs of tubulin is to support the axon structure of nerve axons; exposure to thimerosal, or mercury, destroys this capability. Tubulin also has another job: it is involved in formation of the meiotic spindle on which a cell splits in two. In other words, tubulin is needed for cell division, and cell division is needed for development of an immune response. Inhibit tubulin function with thimerosal injections, and you inhibit the immune response.
I have been told that the MMR vaccination is often given at the same time that three thimerosal-containing vaccines are given. Inhibit the immune response with the thimerosal-containing vaccinations, and an infant has less ability to respond to the measles virus in the MMR vaccination that is injected at the same setting. This might explain the presence of measles virus in about 80 percent of autistic children.
The research results we have obtained on the toxicity of thimerosal are not really surprising. This ethyl mercury-releasing compound was known to be neurotoxic through the publication of several research articles, some quite old. Any competent biochemist would look at the structure of the compound and identify it as a potent enzyme inhibitor. What is surprising is that the appropriate animal and laboratory testing was not done on the vaccines containing thimerosal (and aluminum) before the government embarked on a mandated vaccine program that exposed infants to the levels of thimerosal that occurred.
At this time it appears that exposure to thimerosal is the most likely suspect in vaccines that may be involved in causing autism and related disorders. The final verdict will come with observing the rate of autism now that thimerosal has been removed from the infant vaccine program. Let us therefore give credit to those who have worked to remove thimerosal from the vaccines given to infants and emphasize that continued testing of all vaccines is imperative to obtain the safest national vaccine policy possible, including a thimerosal-free flu vaccine for our elderly citizens.
NOTES 1. S. Khatoon et al., "Aberrant GTP-Tubulin Interaction in Alzheimer's Disease," Annals of Neurology 26 (1989): 210-215. 2. S. David et al., "Abnormal Properties of Creatine Kinase in Alzheimer's Disease Brain," Molecular Brain Research 54 (1998): 276-287. 3. E. F. Duhr et al., "HgEDTA Complex Inhibits GTP Interactions with the E-Site of Brain-Tubulin," Toxicology and Applied Pharmacology 122 (1993): 273-288. 4. J. C. Pendergrass and B. E. Haley, "Mercury-EDTA Complex Specifically Blocks Brain-Tubulin-GTP Interactions: Similarity to Observations in Alzheimer's Disease," in Status Quo and Perspective of Amalgam and Other Dental Materials, International Symposium Proceedings, L. T. Friberg and G. N. Schrauzer, eds., 98-105 (Stuttgart and New York: Georg Thieme Verlag, 1995). 5. J. C. Pendergrass et al., "Mercury Vapor Inhalation Inhibits Binding of GTP to Tubulin in Rat Brain: Similarity to a Molecular Lesion in Alzheimer's Disease Brain," Neurotoxicology 18, no. 2 (1997): 315-324. 6. G. Olivieri et al., "Mercury Induces Cell Cytotoxicity and Oxidative Stress," J. Neurochemistry 74 (2000): 231-241. 7. C. C. W. Leong et al., "Retrograde Degeneration of Neurite Membrane Structural Integrity and Formation of Neurofibillary Tangles at Nerve Growth Cones Following in Vitro Exposure to Mercury," NeuroReports 12, no. 4 (2001): 733-737. Boyd E. Haley, PhD, is a professor and chair of the department of chemistry at the University of Kentucky, Lexington. His research on biochemical aberrancies in Alzheimer's disease led to his identifying mercury toxicity as a major exacerbating factor, perhaps even a causal factor. Haley has testified before numerous government agencies on the effects of mercury toxicity from dental amalgams and vaccines.
Dec 2003Last October, a Report by the National Institutes of Environmental Heath Sciences (NIEHS) acknowledged that fluoride has been observed to have synergistic effects on the toxicity of aluminum, complexing with the mineral in the water. They acknowledge that most drinking water is high in fluoride/aluminum complexes, which enhance neurotoxicity. Other studies have shown that cooking with fluoridated water leaches the aluminum out of the aluminum cooking pots, with different amounts being released depending on the foods being cooked, whereas cooking with non-fluoridated water resulted in no release of aluminum from the pans. Leaching of up to 600 ppm occurred with prolonged boiling!
The Burning Brain, Its Cause and Cure I did not find "burning brain" as one of the symptoms of mercury poisoning in any list when I was looking for symptoms of mercury poisoning. I searched on the Internet for "symptom-burning brain," and could not find anything.It is so frightening to have a "hot spot" in your brain or to feel that your "brain is on fire." I lay in my bed at nights before I was diagnosed with mercury toxicity imagining all the holes that were being caused in my blood brain barrier by this burning. My neurologist could not tell me why my brain burned, but thought it was improbable that I had mercury poisoning. But then he confessed, "he knew little about mercury poisoning." After being diagnosed as mercury poisoned and being introduced to the ACAM neurologist Dr. David Perlmutter, I found an article written by Dr. Perlmutter that explained why my brain burned. He was addressing a conference of ACAM doctors and called my symptoms "a brain on fire." In "The Role of Inflammation in Chronic Diseases" Dr. Perlmutter explained that when a combination of toxins are in the brain (in my case aluminum, mercury and thallium) there is a synergistic effect on the damage they cause.
Synergism-interaction of agents (as drugs), or conditions such that the total effect is greater than the sum of the individual effects.
I have come into contact with several mercury- poisoned personed people now, who are saying that their brains burned. Do not rule out mercury poisoning just because your brain does not burn. People with mercury poisoning experience varying symptoms.I have recently had a conversation with a friend in Roanoke who says he has a "hot spot" on top of his head. He chain smokes cigarettes so he is exposed to the heavy metal cadmium in the cigarettes. Smoking cigarettes increase the damage caused by mercury in your mouth because of the heat on the fillings. Any heat in the mouth causes the mercury to leak from the fillings and it takes an hour or two for the mercury vapors from the fillings to calm down.My friend also has a mouth full of mercury fillings and root canals that probably contain mercury. Then he exposed himself to lead poisoning by sanding down doors with old lead paint without wearing a mask. He has also been exposed to paint fumes from painting cars. Now he has lost his hair and what hair remains has turned white overnight. He needs to have a heavy metals test run by an ACAM doctor and start removing the metal safely from his mouth. Then he needs to detox the poisons out of his body. If he doesn't he could end up with a neurological disease. In September of 2003, I had a conversation with another friend, Troy, and I explained to him how I had been poisoned. He said, "Well, Marie, that explains some of the things that have happened to me when I went to dentists." He went on to explain that proabably around seven years ago he had a dentist in Bland, VA to drill out two fillings. That is when the burning in his brain first started. He also had a headache that would not go away, not even with pain relievers. The burning gradually subsided, but it would come back when he would drink diet drinks that contained the sugar substitute aspertame. So he learned to avoid aspertame. He said that was when he first started experiencing memory loss.Later my friend moved to Amelia, VA and he had several more mercury fillings drilled out. He did not put together the connection between his dental work and the burning in the brain. He just saw a connection with the aspertame exaserbating his symptoms. After this new dental work where he was exposed to more mercury vapor, his brain burned again, the headaches reappeared and the memory loss was worse. Now his wife is complaining about his memory loss.When I read the book Beating Alzheimer's by Tom Warren, I was very interested that he said when he was diagnosed with Alzheimer's that his brain burned.After speaking with my local ACAM doctor, I now understand that toxins in the brain cause free radical damage. So one must remove the toxins and in the process of removing the toxins this will help remove the inflammation and the burning that is associated with neurological diseases. EDTA chelation removes some heavy metal toxins; DMSA removes others such as mercury. Taking antioxidants such as Vitamin C helps to lesson the symptoms caused by free radical damage. Persons that are mercury poisoned frequently take 5000 to 6000 mg of Vitamin C a day. However, you need to work with your doctor to get on a balanced program of vitamins and minerals.I would recommend that you buy the book BrainRecovery.Com, Powerful Therapy for Challenging Brain Disorders by Dr. David Perlmutter if you have a neurological disease. He is a board certified neurologist from Florida that belongs to ACAM. On the Amazon.com website Bernie Siegel, M.D. says of Dr. Perlmutter's book:
"...Should be available to everyone so true integrative therapy can become the normal method of treatment in the neurology field."
Russell B. Roth, M.D. Past President, American Medical Association says:
"Dr. Perlmutter provides sound advice, supported by the latest and most well respected medical research."
A book description on Amazon states:
With forwards by Bernie Siegel, MD and Jeffrey S. Bland, PhD-- BrainRecovery.com, Dr. David Perlmutter, internationally recognized leader in functional approaches to neurological diseases, explores the cutting edge of both mainstream and complementary medicine. Powerful, clinically proven techniques are revealed providing answers and hope for patients and families faced with challenging disorder including: Alzheimer's Disease, Multiple Sclerosis, Memory Loss, Stroke, Parkinson's Disease, Post-Polio Syndrome, Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis, and more...
Though Dr. Permutter is an ACAM doctor and these doctors are known as chelation doctor, he does not stress testing for heavy metals in this book. He makes no mention of removing mercury fillings.Mercury and other heavy metals are the major contributor to neurological diseases. You will find this on Dr. Mercola's website and also the neurosurgeon Dr. Russell Blaylock said the same thing on Pat Robertson's 700 Club. Also exposure to chemicals, pesticides and industrial poisons contribute to neurological diseases. But if you have a neurotoxin right in your mouth just inches from your brain, you must remove the mercury from your mouth. Also remove toxic metal crowns and toxic root canals. A biological dentist, along with the materials you receive from DAMS can advise you on what is toxic.I would use Dr. Perlmutter's book as an introduction to some alternative therapies for neurological diseases. He warns that the medication Parkinson's patients receive from their doctors will actually cause the symptoms to get worse in the long run. If you have a neurological disease find an ACAM doctor in your area that is experienced in heavy metal toxicity. Some ACAM doctors are also neurologists and some specialize in degenerative diseases. When you go to the ACAM site online you will see the specialties of each doctor listed beside his name. Be sure to see what the code for the specialties are at the end of the list. (example NT=nutrition)So my recommendations to you is this:1. Order an information packet from DAMS concerning mercury toxicity from toxic dentistry. Get the name of a DAMS coordinator in your state that you can talk to.2. Find a local ACAM doctor experienced in treating toxic patients. He will give you a heavy metals test. Mercury may not show up as high on a test, but if you have mercury in your mouth and you have a neurological disease, you will still need to remove mercury fillings and detox your body. It is hard to test for mercury as it likes to hide in the brain and not come out for a heavy metals' test.Some ACAM doctors may say that your score for mercury is not high enough to detox your body of mercury. I disagree with this. King James Medical Laboratory states that there is no safe level of mercury in the body, and Dr. Boyd Haley, leading researcher of mercury in the USA, is testifying before Congressional hearings on mercury dental fillings that there is no safe level of mercury in the body. And if you have other heavy metals in your body, the small amount of mercury will be intensified in your body. I say don't leave any mercury in your body. Get it all out! And please don't just settle for your doctor saying to you, "Your test results were low, and are not problem." Get copies of the test results yourself and put them in your own files. You have a right to remove all heavy metals from your body. Your doctor might not be aware to the latest research on heavy metals. Dr. Boyd Haley is saying that some of the most poisoned people may actually have low levels of mercury in their heavy metals testing scores because they are poor excreters of mercury. See the footnote on Marie's Story of Mercury Poisoning for an explanation of this.3. Find a biological dentist to safely remove toxic fillings, crowns, and root canals from your mouth. Talk to your state DAMS coordinator before you choose your biological dentist. Make sure the biological dentist will properly protect you from mercury vapor.4. Order Dr. Perlmutter's book as a book you can use in conjunction to the advice and treatment you will receive from your local ACAM doctor. Do not order the neurological supplements from Dr. Perlmutter until AFTER you see what your local ACAM doctor wants to prescribe for you. Then you can discuss with your local ACAM doctor what Dr. Perlmutter recommends and together decide if you need to take additional supplements that Dr. Perlmutter recommends for the brain.5. Do not use Dr. Perlmutter's book and become your own doctor. You need an alternative doctor to help you with supplements and treatments. Do not go to Wal Mart and buy vitamins that Dr. Perlmutter recommends. You need an alternative doctor to help you figure out which supplements are appropriate for you. If you buy them yourself you will just end up with a bag full of bottles and you may not even buy the correct form of the supplement that is the most effective. Also your ACAM doctor may have several of the things Dr. Perlmutter recommends in combination in one pill. If you try to buy these yourself, you may end up with 20 bottles of pills.It is so sad that when a person has a neurological disease conventional medicine will not even check for heavy metals in the brain! Conventional doctors just diagnose a patient with a "label" whether it is Alzheimer's, ALS, MS, or Parkinson's. Autism in children is also known by some doctors to have been caused by exposure to toxins such as aluminum and mercury through vaccines. Conventional doctors, not even neurologists, even check the brain to remove heavy metals! Improvements in these neurological conditions are increased by early detection of the heavy metals and the removal of these metals from the brain and the teeth. (DAN doctors may help remove metals from autistic children.)If you need an alternative doctor to help a child with autism, there is a doctor in Richmond, VA listed on the www.acam.org site. (I do not personally know this doctor, but it would be a starting place for Virginians who want help.) Just go to the American College for the Advancement in Medicine site (www.acam.org) and click on VA. If the traditional doctors won't even admit that the heavy metal ingredients in vaccines are causing autism, how can you expect a traditional doctor to help your child detox from the heavy metals in vaccines? How can these major teaching hospitals help you if they won't test properly for heavy metals and know how to remove them? Mainstream doctors are not chelation doctors. If you have a illness related to heavy metals, you need a chelation doctor. Chelation doctors have been removing metals for years.Doctors belonging to the American College for the Advancement in Medicine (ACAM) are located at www.acam.org.****************
Statistically there is a higher incidence of hip fracture in residents of fluoridated areas. This includes U.S. studies published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) by Dr. S.J. Jacobsen in 1990 and Christa Danielson and others in 1992.
Fluoride Research and Dental Caries (cavities)Prof. Y. Imai of Japan studied 22,000 schoolchildren in 1972 in naturally occurring fluoride areas and found increased caries (dental cavities) with increased levels of fluoride.A study of 23,000 elementary schoolchildren in Tucson, Arizona, by Dr. Cornelius Steelink in 1992, showed increased caries (dental cavities) with increased levels of fluoride in drinking waterProfessor S.P.S. Teotia of India who reported on a study of 400,000 children from 1973 to 1993 also showed increased caries (dental cavities) with increased levels of fluoride in drinking water.
"In 1999, the US Environmental Protection Agency finally reviewed three studies carried out by scientists at Binghamton University. The scientists reported 80% death rates, kidney damage and brain damage in rats exposed to half of one milligram of aluminum fluoride complexes in a litre of drinking water. This is less than half of the amount of fluoride which is added in fluoridation schemes.
Finally, the National Toxicology Program was asked to commission studies to determine the extent of neurotoxic damage from aluminum in drinking water, particularly stressing the fluoride interaction."
Last October, a Report by the National Institutes of Environmental Heath Sciences (NIEHS) acknowledged that fluoride has been observed to have synergistic effects on the toxicity of aluminum
"I was particularly pleased when the US Environmental Protection Agency report by Urbansky and Schock on the toxicity of lead and fluoride in drinking water confirmed that fluoride complexes with other substances in the water.
They also acknowledged that most drinking water contains a substantial amount of fluoro-aluminium complexes. This should be a warning to dentists who hold with the simplistic notion that fluoride only affects teeth and is perfectly safe in drinking water."
According to the NIEHS Report, most water treatment processes result in increased levels of aluminum in the finished drinking water.
It stated that fluoridation will result in aluminum fluoride complexes which will enhance neurotoxicity, or that fluoride itself will enhance uptake and synergise the toxicity of the aluminum
Other studies have shown that in the presence of fluoride, aluminum leaches out of cookware. Boiling fluoridated tap water in an aluminum pan leached almost 200 parts per million (ppm) of aluminum into the water in 10 minutes.
Leaching of up to 600 PPM occurred with prolonged boiling. Different releases of aluminum depend upon the composition of the pan and the type of food being cooked. Using non-fluoridated water showed almost no leaching from aluminum pans.
US Government References:
Please find below the complete citation and the full article.
> Yours sincerely
Elizabeth O'Brien Manager, Global Lead Advice and Support Service (GLASS), run by The LEAD Group Inc
ph +61 2 9716 0014
fax + 61 2 9716 9005
PO Box 161 Summer Hill NSW 2130 Australia
Are Amalgam Fillings Safe for Lead-poisoned People?
LEAD Action News vol 5 no 2 1997 ISSN 1324-6011
The journal of The LEAD (Lead Education and Abatement Design) Group Inc.
By Elizabeth O'Brien, Project Coordinator, NSW Community Lead Advisory Service (CLAS).
Alarming information about the synergistic effects of lead and mercury, recently brought to the attention of CLAS by ASOMAT members, will be the basis of an enquiry by CLAS to the NSW and Federal Health Ministers.
ASOMAT is the Australasian Society of Oral Medicine and Toxicology (ph 02 9867 1111), a non-profit organisation founded by concerned doctors and dentists.
Amalgam fillings contain 50% mercury.
> The original evidence cited for the synergistic effects of lead and mercury (and cadmium) comes from a 1978 paper by Schubert et al published in Michigan: "...the administration of an essentially no-response level (LD1) of a mercury salt together with 1/20 of the LD1 of a lead salt killed all of the animals [rats]."
Dr Michael Godfrey and dentist Noel Campbell write:
"...a lethal dose (LD1 [enough to kill 1% of the rats]) was combined with a 1/20th LD1 of lead, resulting in a LD 100 [100% death rate] in the test animals. "We have recently found that considerable amounts of lead may be excreted with the mercury following DMPS provocation. Our preliminary investigations appear to indicate that a synergistic effect could be identified by multiplying the lead and mercury concentrations together, after adjusting to IG of urine creatinine. We have termed this the Campbell-Godfrey factor (C-G factor). Chronic-ally affected patients may have high levels of either metal or a high total C-G factor. Those with the highest C-G factor appear to be the worst affected, thus indicating that the synergism in animals is replicated in man."
> The questions raised are: is it safe for lead poisoned people to have mercury fillings? Should CLAS advise parents of lead-poisoned kids never to allow these fillings in their kid's mouths? Should CLAS advise lead-poisoned people who are planning to conceive for instance, to have their amalgam fillings replaced, along with DMSA chelation therapy and nutrient replenishment therapy, well in advance of trying to conceive? Is it acceptable for anyone to be exposed to lead and mercury (and cadmium) as they are in mining and smelting communities? Why aren't the DMPS provocation test, DMSA chelation therapy or amalgam removal procedures claimable under Medicare? When will Australia phase out amalgams?
Another group of doctors who may understand heavy metals are environmental doctors belonging to the American Academy of Environmental Medicine.
Their website is located at www.aaem.com.
effects of toxic metals (mercury, lead, aluminum) are extreme
Mercury and lead are extremely neurotoxic and cytotoxic, but their combined synergistic effect is
much worse. A dose of mercury sufficient to kill 1% of tested rats, when combined with a dose of
lead sufficient to kill less than 1% of rats, resulted in killing 100
% of rats tested(1). Thus with combined exposure the safe dose is
1/100 as much as the dose individually. Studies in Australia have confirmed similar relationships
hold for people. This means most people in the U.S. are getting dangerous levels of these metals,
enough to cause some neurologic effects.
Similar is true for synergistic effect with other toxic metals like arsenic, and with other toxic
chemicals like PCBs(2). The level of mercury thimerosal in vaccines has been shown to be highly
neurotoxic, but the effect was found to be much larger due to the synergistic effect with aluminum,
which is also in most vaccines(4). Studies using U.S. CDC data have found thimerosal from vaccines
to be major factors in autism and ADHD(5), along with prenatal rhogam shots which contain high
levels of mercury thimerosal and are given to some RH negative women during pregnancy.
Autism has increased in the U.S. more than 10 fold in the last decade. According to the Florida
Dept. of Education, the numbers increased from approx. 300 to over 4000 during this time period.
There have likewise been large increases in the number of children with ADHD and other developmental
conditions, according to the National Academy of Sciences and other sources. A major factor in this
appears to be the large increase in vaccinations given to infants, as noted in the previous post.
(more documentation available at the childrens neurological page,
There was an increase of over 45% in learning disabilities in Pennsylvania between 1990 and 2000(3).
But the study showed that the county highest on the Chemical Pollution Scorecard, Montgomery, had an
increase more than double that of the rest of the state. Montgomery County had an increase in ADHD
of 32.7% and an increase in autism of 310%.
Bernard Windham, M.D.
ps. note that a high percentage of Gulf state residents have been documented to have high levels
of mercury exposure(Mobile Register study, www.home.earthlink.net/~berniew1/flhg.html)
1. Schubert J, Riley EJ, Tyler SA. Combined effects in toxicology. A rapid systematic testing
procedure: cadmium, mercury, and lead. Toxicol Environ Health 1978;4(5/6):763-776.
2. Philippe Grandjean P, White RF et al. Neurobehavioral deficits associated with PCB in 7-year-
old children prenatally exposed to seafood neurotoxicants. Neurotoxicology and Teratology
3. Pennsylvania Dept. of Education, 2003, Study of learning disability incidence in Montgomery
County, Pennsylvania, 1990 and 2000; & ""Polluting Our Future: Chemical Emissions in the U.S.
that Affect Child Development and Learning,"" by Physicians For Social Responsibility, at (202)
4. Haley, BE, Pendergrass JC ,Lovell, M., Univ. of Kentucky Chemistry Dept., paper presented to the
Institute of Medicine Immunization Safety Review Committee, Spring 2001, and on medical lab
5. Geier M.R., Geier DA; Thimerosal in Childhood Vaccines, Neurodevelopmental Disorders, and Heart
Disease in the U.S. ; J of Amer Physicians and Surgeons, Vol 8(1), Spring 2003; & Bradstreet J,
Geier DA, et al, A case control study of mercury burden in children with Autisitic Spectrum
Disorders, J of Amer Physicians and Surgeons, Vol 8(3), Summer 2003.