By Marie Be
Guest writer for Wake Up World
Exposure to heavy metals such as such as mercury (Hg), arsenic (As), cadmium (Cd) and lead (Pb) can cause numerous toxicological health effects, including cancer, nervous system damage, and in the case of extreme exposures, death. According to the Natural Resources Defense Council, “medical literature continues to support the growing association between exposure to [heavy metals]… and the rising incidence of neurobehavioral, reproductive, and musculoskeletal diseases”.
Unfortunately, we are all in contact with toxic heavy metals every day. It is in fact impossible to completely avoid exposure to toxic metals. (1) Even people who are not occupationally exposed carry certain metals in their body. (2) However, exposure to metal toxins can also be substantially reduced by understanding the sources of metal exposure and adopting strategies to reduce contact with them.
Overexposure to heavy metals can occur due to natural sources in the environment, for example arsenic-rich mineral deposits. But most of the time, human activities and industry are what rises toxicity to unbearable levels. (3) The most common sources of contamination include foods, water, contaminated air and land (industrial waste and chemtrails), cosmetics and body products, vaccines and medical injections, some dietary supplements and prescription medications, and implants within the body.
Following exposure, heavy metals act as free radicals in the body, causing oxidative damage and depleting antioxidant reserves.(9) Free radicals are damaging as they seek to absorb an electron from surrounding cells in order to become stable.(10) They bounce around until they succeed in pulling an electron off healthy surrounding cells, causing the affected molecule to become a free radical itself. The new free radical can then pull an electron off the next molecule, and a chemical chain reaction of free radical production occurs, disrupting and damaging living cells.(11)
Free radical imbalance within the body results in oxidative stress, leading to cellular damage. Once the negative feedback loop of oxidative stress is established in the body, cellular deterioration and organs malfunctions start affecting the entire body.
Given the cycle of damage heavy metal toxicity can cause, avoiding exposure is your first defense.
The most common sources of heavy metal contamination:
1. HYGIENE AND PERSONAL CARE PRODUCTS:
Heavy metals such as lead, arsenic, mercury, aluminum, zinc, chromium and iron are found in a wide variety of personal care products including lipstick, whitening toothpaste, antiperspirant deodorant, eyeliner and nail color. Some metals are intentionally added as ingredients, while others are contaminants.(4)
2. PROCESSED FOODS AND DRINK:
3. TOXIC DENTISTRY:
Amalgam dental fillings are the primary source of mercury in the body. It has been reported that individuals with 7 or more mercury fillings had 30-50% higher urinary mercury levels compared to individuals without any amalgam fillings. (5)
Important! Safe mercury amalgam removal from the mouth is critical! If you have these types of fillings, and you elect to have them removed, make sure your dentist knows, understands and follows all safety protocols for the removal of mercury from the mouth. Improper removal may result in the greatest exposure of mercury you may ever have at any point in your life.
Be sure your dentist follows these important protocols for safe dental amalgam removal.
4. CONSUMING FISH:
Mercury in some fish is also a problem, especially in fish higher in the food chain. If you eat fish, focus on the ones with a plant based diet, as their mercury contamination is usually lower. On the other hand, Shark, Swordfish, King Mackerel and Tile fish are the species most likely to contain elevated levels of mercury. However, given that the Pacific Ocean is now contaminated by radiation from Fukushima, it would not be advisable to eat any fish sourced from that region of the world.
Vaccines and flu shots are another major source of mercury and aluminum toxicity.
Chemtrails! Annually, thousands of tons of hazardous heavy metals chemicals, are spewing out from ‘spray planes’, falling to earth and systemically poisoning all of us. Barium, nano aluminum-coated fiberglass (known as CHAFF), radioactive thorium, cadmium, chromium, nickel, desiccated blood, mold spores, yellow fungal mycotoxins, ethylene dibromide, and polymer fibers have all been detected in chemtrail ‘fallout’. Barium can be compared to the toxicity of arsenic and is known to adversely affect the heart. Aluminum has a history of damaging brain function. Independent researchers and labs continue to show off-the-scale levels of these poisons. A few “anonymous” officials have acknowledged this ongoing aerosol spraying. But until they stop spraying us, no one is safe!
Lead contamination sources are numerous. They can come from old lead water pipes, lead-based paint, lead-acid batteries, lead-contaminated cookware, lead-based candlewicks, unglazed ceramic pottery, electronic devices, etc.
Chronic arsenic poisoning can result from from drinking arsenic contaminated well-water over a long period of time. Many aquifers contain high concentrations of arsenic salts and other heavy metal contaminants. Another potential source of arsenic contamination comes from arsenic-laced pressure-treated lumber, which was common before regulations forbade the manufacture after 2004. Utility poles and railroad ties are also a common hazard. Touching the wood with bare hands or bare feet can cause toxic arsenic poisoning.
10. PHARMACEUTICAL DRUGS:
11. COMMON BEVERAGES:
12. OTHER SOURCES OF CONTAMINATION:
Contamination by a wide assortment of heavy metals can also come from untested natural spring water, exposure to industrial chemicals, manufacturing processes, in paints and dyes, jewelry, mining, soils, field research exposure, unapproved chemicals, and the misapplication of approved chemicals. (6)
What Else Can We Do?
Avoiding or reducing exposure to sources of heavy metals (listed above) is crucial to overall health, especially since the body lacks robust pathways for elimination of these toxic contaminants.(7) This means that heavy metals remain in the body for a long time, adding to body’s functional burden and degrading overall health.(8)
Since avoiding exposure completely is near impossible, aiding the body’s elimination of heavy metals (detoxing) is an important secondary strategy for maintaining good health in the long term.
For a more targeted approach, a natural mineral compound called zeolite captures and remove free radicals from the body, neutralizing the oxidative stress caused by heavy metal contamination. Acting like a free radical vacuum, the mineral zeolite carries a strong negative charge that attracts and traps positively charged heavy metal contaminants, allowing them to be passed by the body’s natural elimination functions. Zeolite can be taken as a natural supplement, or transdermal zeolite can be easily absorbed through the skin. It is so effective at detoxifying the body — and the environment — of heavy metals that it is heavily used as an industrial clean-up and detox agent following nuclear disasters.
When done correctly, detoxing from toxic overload can improve the efficiency of the body’s immune, metabolic and lymphatic systems by reallocating the energy previously used to fight toxins, back to maintaining healthy natural functions. When your body is cleansed, its energy shifts from life-maintenance to regeneration processes, promoting vitality and a long disease-free life.
For more ideas on simple and natural detox methods, please also see these recent articles from Marie Be:
- Preventative Detox – 6 Foods to Avoid for a Clean Healthy Body
- Natural Detox – Flush Your Toxins Down the Drain
- Easy Home Recipe – Skin and Body Detox Cream
- 1. Singh R, Gautam N, Mishra A, Gupta R. Heavy metals and living systems: An overview. Indian J Pharmacol. 2011 May;43(3):246-53.
- 2. Washam C. Beastly beauty products: exposure to inorganic mercury in skin-lightening creams. Environ Health Perspect. 2011 Feb;119(2):A80
- 3. Orloff K, Mistry K, Metcalf S. Biomonitoring for environmental exposures to arsenic. J Toxicol Environ Health B Crit Rev. 2009 Aug;12(7):509-24
- 4. Environmental Working Group (2007). Impurities of Concern in Personal Care Products. Available online: www.cosmeticsdatabase.com/research/impurities/php. Accessed July 28, 2008.
- 5. Dutton DJ, Fyie K, Faris P, Brunel L, Emery JH. The association between amalgam dental surfaces and urinary mercury levels in a sample of Albertans, a prevalence study. Journal of occupational medicine and toxicology (London, England). Aug 29 2013;8(1):22
- 6. http://www.merckmanuals.com/professional/injuries-poisoning/poisoning/general-principles-of-poisoning?qt=&sc=&alt=
- 7. Bjermo H, Sand S, NaÌˆlseÌn C, Lundh T, Enghardt Barbieri H, Pearson M, Lindroos AK, JoÌˆnsson BA, BarregaÌŠrd L, Darnerud PO. Lead, mercury, and cadmium in blood and their relation to diet among Swedish adults. Food Chem Toxicol. 2013 Jul;57:161-9
- 8. Bjermo H, Sand S, NaÌˆlseÌn C, Lundh T, Enghardt Barbieri H, Pearson M, Lindroos AK, JoÌˆnsson BA, BarregaÌŠrd L, Darnerud PO. Lead, mercury, and cadmium in blood and their relation to diet among Swedish adults. Food Chem Toxicol. 2013 Jul;57:161-9
- 9. Ercal, N., Gurer-Orhan, H., and Aykin-Burns, N. Toxic metals and oxidative stress part I: mechanisms involved in metal- induced oxidative damage. Curr Top Med Chem. 2001;1(6):529–39
- 10.l [Erbas M, Sekerci H. IMPORTANCE OF FREE RADICALS AND OCCURRING DURING FOOD PROCESSING. SERBEST RADàKALLERàN ONEMà VE GIDA àSLEME SIRASINDA OLUSUMU. 2011;36(6) 349-56.
- 11. Hang Cui, Yahui Kong, Hong Zhang “Oxidative Stress, Mitochondrial Dysfunction, and Aging”“Journal of Signal Transduction, 2011.
Previous articles by Marie Be:
- Preventative Detox: 6 Foods to Avoid for a Clean Healthy Body
- BURN: Health Impacts of Sunscreen Found to be Worse Than UV Damage!
- Natural Detox : Flush Your Toxins Down the Drain
- Easy Home Recipe: Skin and Body Detox Cream
- Skin Science – Debunking Cosmetic Industry Propaganda
- 3 Years After Fukushima: Behind the Skewed Data and Vested Interests
- Support Your Cellular Health and Slow the Aging Process
- Transdermal Detox – Taking Your Health Supplements Through Your SKIN!
- Natural Detox : Detoxing as a Way of Life
- How Modern Symptom-Based Medicine Can Make the Sick, Sicker
- Heavy Metal Toxicity Can Ruin Your Health
About the author:
Marie Be’s inspiration comes from her mom who always challenged common assumptions and sought to understand for herself the major issues concerning her family and the choices she made on their behalf. She raised Marie and her brother in a rural environment, feeding them the best organic foods, and focused on building strong immune systems in her children through the use of natural plants, herbs and minerals.
As a fiery teenager, Marie travelled the world in search of purpose and dreamed of positively influencing our society. While earning her first two degrees, in architecture and sustainable development, she worked for Greenpeace and many other organizations of change. Her experience taught her that change cannot be imposed; she now aims at inspiring individuals through education and awareness.
Marie moved to Vancouver to undertake a Masters in Regenerative Sustainability under the supervision of a Nobel Peace Prize recipient. Teaching workshops on well-being, she started observing a widespread desire in our society for both physical and environmental health and sustainability. Feeling the winds of change, Marie founded Earth for the Sun.
Earth for the Sun was inspired by nature, the source of life. By tuning in that source, by acquiring knowledge on ancient herbal traditions as well as new technologies, Marie believes it is possible to use nature’s intelligence and deliver simple and effective health products. Check out Earth for the Sun for more information.