Archive for the ‘Heavy Metal Toxicity’ Category
A new Canadian study of the mechanisms of aluminum adjuvant toxicity in pediatric patients confirms that immune challenges during early development, including those vaccine-induced, can lead to permanent detrimental alterations of the brain and immune system function. Lucija Tomljenovic, PhD and Christopher A. Shaw, PhD of the University of British Columbia’s evidence-based study was recently published in Lupus, the only fully peer reviewed international journal devoted exclusively to lupus (and related disease) research.
The study is Mechanisms of aluminum adjuvant toxicity in pediatric populations by Tomljenovic L, Shaw CA (Lupus 2011)
Immune challenges during early development, including those vaccine-induced, can lead to permanent detrimental alterations of the brain and immune system function. Experimental evidence also shows that simultaneous administration of as little as two to three immune adjuvants can overcome genetic resistance to autoimmunity. In some developed countries, by the time children are 4 to 6 years old, they will have received a total of 126 antigenic compounds along with high amounts of aluminum (Al) adjuvants through routine vaccinations. According to the US Food and Drug Administration, safety assessments for vaccines have often not included appropriate toxicity studies because vaccines have not been viewed as inherently toxic. Taken together, these observations raise plausible concerns about the overall safety of current childhood vaccination programs.
When assessing adjuvant toxicity in children, several key points ought to be considered:
1) During prenatal and early postnatal development the brain is extremely vulnerable to neurotoxic insults;
2) Aluminum is a neurotoxin and a strong immune stimulant. Hence, aluminum has all the necessary biochemical properties to induce neuro-immune diseases. Autism is one such disease. Namely, autism is characterized by dysfunctional immunity and abnormalities in brain function;
3) In adult humans aluminum vaccine adjuvants have been linked to a variety of serious autoimmune and inflammatory conditions, yet children are regularly exposed to much higher amounts of aluminium from vaccines than adults;
4) It is often incorrectly assumed that peripheral immune challenges (analogous to vaccinations) do not affect brain function. However, it is now clearly established that there is a cross-talk between the nervous and the immune system. It is also demonstrated that this cross-talk plays a crucial role in both immunoregulation as well as brain function. In turn, perturbations of the neuro-immune regulatory system have been demonstrated in many autoimmune diseases and are thought to be driven by a hyperactive immune response;
5) The same components of the neuro-immune regulatory system that have key roles in both brain development and immune function are heavily affected by aluminum adjuvants;
In summary, research evidence shows that increasing concerns about current vaccination practices may indeed be warranted. Because children may be most at risk of vaccine-induced complications, a rigorous evaluation of the vaccine-related adverse health impacts in the pediatric population is urgently needed.
A dose-dependent relationship between mercury exposure from dental amalgams and urinary mercury levels: a further assessment of the Casa Pia Children’s Dental Amalgam Trial.
Institute of Chronic Illnesses, Inc., Silver Spring, MD, USA.
Dental amalgams are a commonly used dental restorative material, and amalgams are about 50% mercury (Hg). In our study, urinary Hg levels was examined in children of age 8-18 years, with and without dental amalgam fillings, from a completed clinical trial (parent study) that was designed to evaluate the potential health consequences of prolonged exposure to Hg from dental amalgam fillings. Our study was designed to determine whether there was a significant dose-dependent correlation between increasing Hg exposure from dental amalgams and urinary Hg levels. Hg exposure depends on the size and number of teeth with dental amalgams. Overall, consistent with the results observed in the parent study, there was a statistically significant dose-dependent correlation between cumulative exposure to Hg from dental amalgams and urinary Hg levels, after covariate adjustment. Further, it was observed that urinary Hg levels increased by 18% to 52% among 8 to 18 year old individuals, respectively, with an average exposure to amalgams, in comparison to study subjects with no exposure to amalgams. The results of our study suggest that dental amalgams contribute to ongoing Hg exposure in a dose-dependent fashion.
- [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
BRUSSELS, Belgium: A new study, conducted on behalf of the European Commission, recommends phasing out dental amalgam use over the next few years owing to mercury’s negative impact on the environment. According to the recently published study results, the ban should be combined with improved enforcement of the EU waste legislation regarding dental amalgam.
The report explains that mercury-free alternatives are still not used widely in many EU member states. The reasons are that alternative fillings are often believed to be more expensive than amalgam fillings, that many dentists are simply not trained to apply new methods and that many dentists think that composite materials have a lower durability than amalgam fillings. Some dentists are also “reluctant to change their current practice and invest in new equipment to handle mercury-free fillings,” according to the report. Additionally, many patients are not even aware that amalgam fillings contain mercury.
In 2007, mercury was used in more than 60 different applications in the EU, dental amalgam being the second largest mercury use (24 per cent) after chlor-alkali production (41 per cent). Once the use of mercury in chlor-alkali production has been phased out (target year 2020), according to the Euro Chlor’s voluntary agreement, dental mercury will become the main use of mercury. The EU consumption of dental amalgam is estimated to be between 55 and 95 tonnes of mercury (figures from 2010).
The study analysed the baseline scenario and three policy options to reduce the environmental impact of dental amalgam. The researchers stressed that there is currently no scientific consensus on the direct health effects of dental amalgam (except allergies) and that future policy actions concerning dental amalgam addressed in the study focus on the environmental aspect of the problem and indirect health effects.
The options suggested included improving enforcement of the EU waste legislation regarding dental amalgam, encouraging member states to take national measures to reduce dental amalgam use while promoting the use of mercury-free filling materials, and banning the use of mercury in dentistry entirely.
The researchers concluded that a combination of a ban and the improved enforcement of the EU waste legislation would be the most effective policy option. The European Commission would “ask member states to report on measures taken to manage dental amalgam waste in compliance with EU waste legislation and to provide evidence of the effectiveness of the measures in place. Usual steps taken to comply with these requirements are the presence of amalgam separators in dental practices, adequate maintenance of these separators in order to ensure a minimum 95 per cent efficiency and to have amalgam waste collected and treated by companies with the adequate authorisation to handle this type of hazardous waste”.
The ban of mercury could be implemented by adding the use of mercury in dentistry to Annex XVII of the REACH Regulation. REACH (Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation and Restriction of Chemicals) is the EU regulatory framework for chemicals that aims to enhance the protection of human health and the environment. REACH establishes European-wide uniform legal standards.
The report suggests the possibility of defining limited exemptions for medical conditions for which there is no substitute for dental amalgam at present. The study suggests that a decision to submit a REACH Restriction Dossier and effect a ban would probably be made in 2013, and become applicable five years later.
The researchers consider the combination of both policies necessary, as without the ban, mercury released from natural deterioration of amalgam fillings in people’s mouths, from cremation and burial, and from residual emissions into urban wastewater treatment plants would not be addressed. While the ban would eliminate the environmental impact in the longer term, the cessation of mercury would only be significant after about 15 years; therefore, both policies need to be employed to reduce mercury releases in the short term as well.
Amalgam’s environmental effects have been much discussed. Sweden has already phased out dental mercury, while Denmark, Finland, the Netherlands and Italy have all reduced amalgam use significantly. Other countries, including Germany, Spain, Italy and Austria, either have restrictions or guidelines on amalgam in place.
The complete “Study on the potential for reducing mercury pollution from dental amalgam and batteries”, conducted by BIO Intelligence Service, a Paris-based environment and sustainable development consultancy, can be downloaded athttp://ec.europa.eu/environment/chemicals/mercury/pdf/Final_report_11.07.12.pdf
Relatively weak study raises new questions, though not enough to overcome the known neurobehavioral effects of mercury amalgam. For better or worse, there are no “natural” dental materials. All are artificial, and we must make choices in favor of the least toxic available.
Tooth fillings made with BPA tied to behavior issues
By Genevra Pittman
(Reuters Health) – Kids who get dental fillings made using BPA are more likely to have behavior and emotional problems a few years later, according to a new study.
But the effect was small, and the lead researcher was quick to point out that her team didn’t measure BPA levels in particular – and had no way of knowing if any other chemicals were leaching out of the fillings.
“It’s a controversial topic in dental research, how much really does leach (from fillings)… and whether or not that would have an effect,” said Nancy Maserejian, from New England Research Institutes in Watertown, Massachusetts. “It’s generally assumed that the amounts leached are tiny.”
She said dental fillings made using BPA are becoming more popular because they are teeth-colored, as opposed to older, silver-colored amalgam fillings.
BPA, short for bisphenol A, is a chemical used to make plastics that’s also found in some food packaging and canned goods. Last year, a study tied prenatal exposure to BPA to hyperactivity and anxiety, especially in girls (see Reuters Health story of October 24, 2011). But its effects are still far from clear.
For the new study, Maserejian and her colleagues looked back at data on 534 kids, age six to 10, who had cavities and were randomly chosen to get amalgam fillings or one of two different types of so-called composite fillings. BPA was used in the manufacturing process of one of those newer fillings.
A new study published in the journalClinical Epigeneticsreveals that both the Standard American Diet (SAD) and various toxic environmental factors play a definitive and synergistic role in the development of autism. According to the study, high-fructose corn syrup (HFCS), mercury in vaccines, and agricultural pesticides are among the many cofactors that contribute to the onset of autism spectrum disorders, all of which deserve more attention from health authorities than they are currently getting.
Renee Dufault from theFood Ingredient and Health Research Institute(FIHRI) and her colleagues examined how various foods and environmental factors affect the neurodevelopment of children, and particularly how these factors inhibit the body’s ability to eliminate disease-causing toxins and heavy metals from the system. Known as “macroepigenetics,” this comprehensive approach to disease research offers unique insight into how the human body responds to multiple inputs from diet, environment, and genetics.
What the team discovered is that HFCS, for instance, which is a highly-processed chemical sweetener used in many processed foods and beverages, depletes the body of the natural mineral zinc. And zinc, of course, is responsible for cleansing the body of heavy metals like mercury, arsenic, and cadmium, as well as aluminum and other toxins that are known to disrupt proper brain development.
“To better address the explosion of autism, it’s critical we consider how unhealthy diets interfere with the body’s ability to eliminate toxic chemicals, and ultimately our risk for developing long-term health problems like autism,” said Dr. David Wallinga, co-author of the study and physician at theInstitute for Agriculture and Trade Policy(IATP).
You can view the complete study at the following link:
What if the foods you’re likely eating every day are to blame for your breast cancer’s spread? A preliminary study says that some heavy metals, cadmium in particular, may contribute to the increase in breast cancer growth.
The research has only just begun and is being conducted at the Dominican University of California in San Rafael. It’s a lifetime exposure study looking at breast cancer patients and their exposures to cadmium over their lifetimes, rather than in high bursts as previous studies have done.
The single largest source of prolonged exposure to cadmium are root crops and vegetables as well as breads and cereal products. Cadmium is found in many farm fertilizers and is often transferred into many types of produce and animal feed.
Early research has indicated that cadmium can mimic estrogen (the female hormone) and may increase breast cancer’s spread.
Preliminary findings from the research were presented by study author Maggie Louie, an associate professor of biochemistry at DUC, at the American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology meeting early this month in San Diego.
Not only are doctors being advised to reject chelation therapy—they’re being asked to report on their colleagues who practice it.
The American College of Medical Toxicology held a conference at the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) this past February about the “use and misuse” of chelation therapy—a misleading title suggesting some semblance of scientific objectivity, which was nowhere in evidence. The conference was more like a Salem witch hunt in which chelators played the role of the accused witches and warlocks.
Why is chelation so threatening to mainstream medicine? There is no disputing that heavy metals are extremely toxic. The human body is engineered to remove small amounts daily, but not the large amounts we often pick up from modern sources. One of those sources has of course been vaccines, which have used mercury as a preservative (it is still used in the US flu shot). Another source has been dental “silver” amalgam, which also contains mercury. This may be part of the reason for the hostility to chelation.
How does the therapy work? One method involves injecting into the patient’s bloodstream organic chemicals, which can bind and remove the heavy metals in the bloodstream (metals which are toxic to humans and interfere with various physiological functions). There are also oral or suppository supplements for chelation, and some foods are natural chelators (e.g., cilantro and chlorella).
This Friday, May 4, affiliates of the International Academy for Oral Medicine and Toxicology (IAOMT) will encourage the U.S. government to join worldwide efforts against mercury/silver fillings, the predominant source of human exposure to mercury, at an integral Department of State (DOS) mercury stakeholders meeting.
The DOS meeting (11 A.M., 2201 C Street, N.W., Washington, D.C.) is being held in preparation for a United Nations conference in June to negotiate a 2013 global treaty with the purpose of phasing-down mercury use in a variety of industries, including dentistry.
Although U.S. agencies have thus far avoided taking a definitive stance on dental amalgam, other countries have taken bold measures against the toxic dental filling material. Norway, Sweden, and Denmark banned mercury fillings, a number of countries placed limitations on their use for pregnant women and children, and the Council of Europe called for their restriction and prohibition.
Meanwhile, it has been openly acknowledged that corporations profiting from the mercury industry sponsor the same dental groups who defend mercury fillings.
IAOMT, a non-profit organization representing dental, medical, and scientific professionals worldwide, challenges the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for failing to protect the American public from a medical device containing 50% mercury, a material known by FDA to damage the kidneys, nervous system, and brain, particularly in unborn and young children.
James Love, legal counsel to IAOMT, explains, “We’ve repeatedly brought the hazards of mercury fillings to FDA’s attention, as documented by our testimony at their Dental Products Panel Hearing in 2010, our petition filed in 2009, and our 2002 publication of over 1,000 adverse reaction reports due to dental amalgam.”
A major study used to claim safety of mercury fillings in children was found to be erroneous after more careful analysis that showed kidney damage. The “Casa Pia Children’s Amalgam Trial,” part of an $11 million experiment on children, was fundedby the U.S. National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research (NIDCR).
IAOMT has established a mercury safety protocol for patients and personnel, especially women who are pregnant or of child-bearing age because fetuses are known to be extremely sensitive to mercury.
Karen Palmer, a former dental assistant of 25 years diagnosed with multiple sclerosis and mercury toxicity, will share her experiences at Friday’s DOS meeting: “Studies show female dental assistants working with amalgam tend to have increased menstrual disturbances, reduced fertility, and lower probability of conception. Many of my colleagues experienced spontaneous miscarriages, but at the time, I was unaware that working with mercury fillings could have been the cause. The U.S. clearly lags behind other countries in upholding standards to protect people from dental mercury exposure.”
Palmer’s statement is supported by recent news that the Norwegian Labour and Welfare Service officially recognized mercury injury as an occupational disease after a dental assistant there proved that working with amalgam caused her to become seriously ill.
In the U.S. employee exposure to mercury has been strictly regulated since 1970 by the Occupational Health and Safety Act (OSHA), but the vast majority of dental workers have no idea this legislation applies to them, and few dental offices are in complete compliance.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has yet to state its position on amalgam separators designed to limit dental office mercury waste. Likewise, IAOMT notes the FDA has not taken measures to warn consumers of the potential harm from daily exposure to mercury in their mouths.
Gump, BB, JA MacKenzie, AK Dumas, CD Palmer, PJ Parsons, ZM Segu, YS Mechref and KG Bendinskas. Fish consumption, low-level mercury, lipids and inflammatory markers in children. Environmental Research http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.envres.2011.10.002.
A study raises concern about children’s exposure to mercury through fish eating, tying it for the first time to hormone changes that increase chronic stress and associated immune system dysfunction.
The mercury levels measured in the children were well below the levels considered a health risk by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
This new study from Oswego County, New York, finds that higher mercury levels measured in the children’s blood are significantly associated with lower cortisol levels. The hormone cortisol is released in response to stress and is important for metabolism, immune responses and blood pressure. Its levels naturally fluctuate during the day – levels are higher in the morning and lower in the afternoon.
Even lower cortisol levels and responses can result in chronic stress even though stress increases the hormone’s level. The study’s results suggest that mercury exposure at levels commonly seen in fish eating populations may do this. It may act as a chronic stressor and disrupt the stress response. Chronic stress means the body doesn’t relax – cells continually function in high gear and do not return to a normal state. Long-term stress can have many negative health effects such as increased heart disease, more metabolic disorders and lowered immunity.
The findings are in line with prior studies in people and fish. The toxic metal increased inflammation in miners exposed to mercury. Animal studies find reduced cortisol levels in mercury-contaminated fish after capture stress.
Fish consumption is a major source both of beneficial omega-3 fatty acids and toxic mercury. Omega-3s benefit health by protecting against heart disease. Mercury is potentially harmful because it affects the brain and nervous system in children. Although there are fish advisories in many states, it is still uncertain whether the benefit of eating fish outweighs the potential harm in children.
To address the pros and cons of fish eating in children, the researchers examined 100 children from 9 to 11 years old in New York State. Parents reported children’s fish consumption, which was categorized as eating or not in the analysis. Blood mercury levels, blood lipids, cortisol in saliva and inflammation markers were measured. Blood lipids indicate future heart disease risk; cortisol reflects changes of stress response; and inflammation markers indicate immune response differences.
Fish eaters had higher HDL – or so called good cholesterol – related to lower heart disease risk, than non-fish eaters. However, the fish eaters also had much higher – almost three times higher – mercury levels than non-fish eaters (1.1 and 0.4 microgram per liter, respectively).
Mercury levels were related to lower cortisol levels at all time points in the study. The highest mercury levels had about 20-25 percent lower cortisol in saliva samples compared with lowest mercury levels. At the same time, children with higher mercury also had higher inflammatory markers in their blood.
The study is limited by its design as a one-time survey, not a follow-up study. More work is still needed to examine whether the association is robust in larger studies with a follow-up design.