Mercury – a strong nerve poison

Mercury has been known to be a potent nerve toxin for about fifteen years, and recently the University of Calgary has shown exactly how mercury causes this nerve degeneration by examining what happens to nerve cells in a culture medium when mercury is added. Please view this short yet excellent and understandable presentation from the University of Calgary Faculty of Medicine, to see for yourself how mercury attaches to the receptor sites of another protein, and destroys the structure of the nerve.

Mercury is especially damaging to fetuses and infants as their nervous systems are only just developing.  A very common cause of mercury exposure in infants is from vaccines that contain thimerosal, a vaccine preservative that is 50% mercury, and with the aggressive immunization schedule suggested for infants, the cumulative dose of thimerosal becomes quite high (the flu vaccine alone that is given to infants has more mercury in it than is allowable under the EPA standards!) The mercury in these vaccines has been linked to autism. Thankfully, because of the outcry, thimerosal is slowly being taken out of vaccines, but it is by no means gone, so be careful of what is being injected into your baby. Mercury is not the only problem with the infant vaccination schedule – more on this in a future tip, but for the sake of your baby under the age of two, please see the user-friendly vaccination schedule published on Dr. Mercola’s website for more information about this extremely important topic.

Lately we have been hearing news about how much of the fish we eat is now toxic due to high levels of mercury from the polluted waterways in which they swim. Many sushi restaurants in California were recently tested, and the fish in many instances were found to have dangerously high levels of mercury – especially the tuna. If you eat a lot of fish, use this mercury calculator to check your dosage, and perhaps switch to less toxic fish. This is especially important for pregnant women and infants. Remember that cooking the fish does not get rid of the mercury. It is sad that fish are now so polluted that they border on dangerous to eat, as most of us get far too few of the omega 3 fatty acids that fish can provide. For this reason, it is a good idea to get your omega 3s from fish oil supplements, as they generally have been cleaned of mercury.

In the grand scheme of things, the mercury poisoning from fish is minor compared to the mercury that gets into our systems from metal fillings in the mouth. The average amalgam filling has 750,000 micrograms of mercury and releases about 10 micrograms a day. Mercury vapor constantly leaks from silver or gold amalgams and crowns, and even more so when the person chews, or puts something hot in their mouth, like tea, coffee or hot food. The mercury is inhaled, goes up the olfactory nerve to the hippocampus in the brain where it effects memory. It is believed by some that amalgam fillings are heavily implicated in Alzheimer’s disease. Mercury also spreads throughout the body, causing degenerative problems in the nervous system and causing organs, particularly the kidneys, to function less optimally. Please see the video The smoking teeth, and see the mercury vapor coming off a 25 year old amalgam, as well as the studies done on sheep and monkeys that examined where and how quickly mercury from their fillings infiltrated their systems. Notice how the mercury got into the fetus, and into the mother’s milk. If you have metal amalgams or crowns in your mouth, particularly if Alzheimer’s disease exists in your family, a precautionary measure may be to see a biological dentist that has been trained to remove these fillings without exposing you, the dental assistants or him/herself to the vapors, and get them out of your mouth as soon as possible. If you have metal amalgams in your mouth, or you work in a dental office and are exposed to metal amalgams on a regular basis, take chlorella daily, a seaweed that is known to be very good at removing heavy metals from the body.

Related Tips:
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Clarkson, Thomas, The three modern faces of mercury Environmental Health Perspectives 110(suppl 1): 11-23, 2002

Clarkson, Thomas, Monitoring methylmercury during pregnancy; maternal hair predicts fetal brain exposure Neurotoxicology (16)4: 705-710, 1995.

Pfab R, et al. Clinical course of severe poisoning with thimerosal Clinical Toxicology 34:453-460, 1996.

Pichichero, ME et al. Blood mercury levels in infants receiving thimerosal-containing vaccines Abstract 1385 Pediatric Res 49(4):243A, 2001.

Wantke, F et al. Thimerosal induces toxic reactions Int Arch Allergy Immunol 105:407-408, 1994.

Kingman A. et al. Mercury concentrations in urine and in whole blood associated with amalgam exposure in US military population J Dent Res 77:461-467, 1998.

Langworth S. et al. Exposure to mercury vapor and impact on health on the dental profession in Sweden J Dent Res 76:1397-1404, 1997.

Pendergrass JC. et al. Mercury vapor inhalation inhibits binding of GTB to tubulin in rat brain: similarity to a molecular lesion in Alzheimer diseased brain Neurotoxicology 18:315-324, 1997.

Burton, Dan, Congressman, Congressional Record, May 21, 2003, Pages E1012-E1030

online: The International Academy of Oral Medicine and Toxicology

online: Autism declines when mercury vaccines banned at

online: Mercury, vaccines and medicine at

online: Mercury on the mind at


  1. Fish food said,

    August 24, 2006 @ 9:20 am

    The widespread mercury contamination of fish is a tragic reality, and all consumers should be aware of these dangers. While mercury levels are high in some fish, this does not mean that all fish should be avoided. Instead, a basic knowledge of the FDA and EPA advisories about mercury contamination in commonly-sold fish will help you avoid the danger. It’s targeted at women of child-bearing age and kids, and advises no consumption of swordfish, tilefish, shark and king mackerel, and also advises those same target groups to limit consumption of albacore tuna and tuna steaks to 6 oz. per week or less. The problem being that this information is hard to find and is not usually available where it is most necessary: your supermarket. Oceana, a conservation group focused on mercury has been trying to get major grocery companies to post this government advice at their seafood counters. Thanks to their work, a small number of supermarket chains, including Whole Foods, Wild Oats and Safeway, have volunteered to post the FDA advisories and have received positive feedback from customers and no drop in seafood sales. But other companies like WalMart, CostCo and Shaw’s have refused to do so. Oceana has a list of which companies care about their customers’ health enough to post this advice, as well as a list of companies that don’t. You can get the Green List and Red List at They even have an interactive map there to assist in finding a grocery store near you that is posting the information you need as well as actions you can take to help get the signs posted in a store near you. While there will still be some confusion, at least this would be a start in helping us continue to get our omega 3 fatty acids from fish without increasing our risk of mercury contamination.

  2. Jose Gomis said,

    December 5, 2008 @ 10:23 am

    I believe that I have mercury poisoning but can’t gate my group insurance to test me for it. I am not allowed to go to my workers comp insurance doctors because they say I have to prove I have the condition first. I ‘ve been working in a lighting shop for over 10 years now. We handle over 300-400 fluorescent lamps, CLF lamps and HID lamps within some days, Many of the lammps that we remove to replace with new ones, are broken at removal, have hole in then, or gate broken during repackaging them. The new lamp storage area is also the same room were we cook our food and in another space that is within the work area of these lamps were they brake sometimes in both of these rooms also! We have no ventilation and HVAC recriqulation air handler and electric carts and lefts in this space that can also heat some of this dust that may have mercury dropes within it that could become mercury vapor that we can inhale. Would like to gate some strong supporting information that could helps us to be safer in this space. They the company management dosn’t belirve that we can gate sick for this vapor or that we even have could have it.

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