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BTD Forums    Diet and Nutrition    Eat Right 4 Your Type  ›  What Type or Kinds of Mercury are in our fish?
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What Type or Kinds of Mercury are in our fish?  This thread currently has 1,219 views. Print Print Thread
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sk8ter
Tuesday, July 1, 2014, 2:01am Report to Moderator Report to Moderator

Early Spring: Awareness, desire.
Posts: 26
I really enjoy my cod fish that i am eating (lemon, butter and garlic)

The internet can be a scary place to read about how awful our food is and that according to the mercury levels in whatever fish you eat should only be consumed like 2 time a month!...

now I have read and spent some time reading about elemental mercury you know the stuff that my parents played with when they were small ...this mercury cannot harm you even if you swallowed a dime size it would just pass right through you...it does not absorb into or through the skin but if you had a quart size jar of the stuff and stuck your face in it and breathed deep for an hour then you might get mercury poisoning other then that its kinda harmless.....now with all that said the laboratory made (compounds) of mercury are deadly... these are found only in the lab and not in the ground or ocean or whatever...so what does this mean? I am not sure exactly but from this information I would think that the small amount of mercury in our fish is totally not harmful in anyway? since this mercury would be elemental and not compounds...

Thoughts?

Lawrence
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Possum
Tuesday, July 1, 2014, 2:07am Report to Moderator Report to Moderator

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I hope you're right... I must admit that some of what circulates on the internet seems to be based on and designed to promote fear tactics

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Possum  -  Tuesday, July 1, 2014, 3:46am
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C_Sharp
Tuesday, July 1, 2014, 3:38am Report to Moderator Report to Moderator

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Sa Bon Nim
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Quoted from sk8ter

I would think that the small amount of mercury in our fish is totally not harmful in anyway? since this mercury would be elemental and not compounds...



Mercury forms a variety of compounds in fish.

Mercury in fish is often in the methylmercury form, a highly toxic organic compound of mercury.

The consumption of fish high in Mercury can cause birth defects, memory loss, hair loss, fatigue, depression, difficulty concentrating, tremors, headaches...


MIfHI                            I follow a SWAMI diet.
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C_Sharp
Tuesday, July 1, 2014, 3:48am Report to Moderator Report to Moderator

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Quoted from sk8ter
....now with all that said the laboratory made (compounds) of mercury are deadly... these are found only in the lab and not in the ground or ocean or whatever..


You do not not need a lab to create methyl mercury.

Just put elemental mercury into an aquatic system and anaerobic organisms will convert it into methylmercury.

This conversion  process happens in lakes, rivers, wetlands, sediments, soils and the open ocean.

So if you want mercury to remain as elemental mercury keep it out of water systems.


MIfHI                            I follow a SWAMI diet.
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Lola
Tuesday, July 1, 2014, 4:58am Report to Moderator Report to Moderator

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Patty H
Tuesday, July 1, 2014, 9:39pm Report to Moderator Report to Moderator

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Ee Dan
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Quoted from sk8ter
I really enjoy my cod fish that i am eating (lemon, butter and garlic)

The internet can be a scary place to read about how awful our food is and that according to the mercury levels in whatever fish you eat should only be consumed like 2 time a month!...

now I have read and spent some time reading about elemental mercury you know the stuff that my parents played with when they were small ...this mercury cannot harm you even if you swallowed a dime size it would just pass right through you...it does not absorb into or through the skin but if you had a quart size jar of the stuff and stuck your face in it and breathed deep for an hour then you might get mercury poisoning other then that its kinda harmless.....now with all that said the laboratory made (compounds) of mercury are deadly... these are found only in the lab and not in the ground or ocean or whatever...so what does this mean? I am not sure exactly but from this information I would think that the small amount of mercury in our fish is totally not harmful in anyway? since this mercury would be elemental and not compounds...

Thoughts?

Lawrence


I'm not sure what you are talking about when you say the stuff your parents played with and rolled it around in their hands.  If it is the same malleable mercury used for dental fillings, it is highly absorbable and toxic.

Also, not all fish is contaminated with mercury.  In general, stay away from the large fish that live a long time such as swordfish and shark.  I think the reason people say to stay away from cod is that many believe it is over-fished, not that it is contaminated with mercury.  I could, however, be wrong on this.  There are many fisherman who dispute the idea that cod is over-fished.  I live in a coastal New England fishing city and the fishermen here would argue that cod is plentiful.  I think your cod is ok - just limit the big fish that feed on the smaller fish.


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Chloe
Tuesday, July 1, 2014, 11:13pm Report to Moderator Report to Moderator

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Quoted from Patty H


I'm not sure what you are talking about when you say the stuff your parents played with and rolled it around in their hands.  If it is the same malleable mercury used for dental fillings, it is highly absorbable and toxic.

.


I'll explain.  Thermometers used to be filled with mercury.  They'd break, the mercury would fall
somewhere and my mother let me play with the metal.  It was heavy and wet and could break up
in your hands...rolling it back and forth, allowing it to just feel wet and funny was sort of fun.
(not so funny now, given I was a kid and I've also  been an adult with mercury toxicity). Hair
samples, blood samples, urine challenge test all showed high mercury, cadmium, arsenic.

Yes, thermometer mercury is malleable but not a solid like the mercury used in dental fillings....Those silver fillings combine other metals which allow it to be compressed into a tooth
and supposedly sealed....  The mercury in thermometers is more like silver water, only it feels heavy for it's size. That was the appeal....the feel of the mercury in my hands...Cool, wet, heavy.

So I was, a young child, often playing with mercury.  What I learned is that it clung to other metals... and I totally ruined my 14 karat band on my birthstone ring. It turned it silver and eventually the silver turned

grayish/black. The mercury residue could not be cleaned off the
gold ring.

THe stupid things we did as kids, not knowing how bad it was to play with mercury.  Not that
thermometers were broken often in my house but I always called first dibs on playing with it.

As insane as this sounds, a dentist I went to recently (but won't continue to see) told me that
mercury based fillings are perfectly safe....I told her it's a cover up by the dental profession.
She looked at me suspiciously.  I told her I've had mercury toxicity....she laughed and said I
don't know what I'm talking about.  She also never heard of the blood type diet. She's 45 years
old and obviously has been residing on another planet for many years as she's totally clueless
about my reality.

As for mercury in fish....it's methyl mercury

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mercury_in_fish

I'm a bit paranoid about eating large fish....which means they've been
in water way too long and have had the time to accumulate not only heavy metals but PCBs.

As for my old metal fillings, working on getting them all replaced with composite.  And found
another dentist who is in agreement that mercury fillings can leak and cause toxicity.


"The happiest people don't have the best of everything.....they know how to make the best of everything!"

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Chloe  -  Wednesday, July 2, 2014, 12:12am
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Patty H
Wednesday, July 2, 2014, 1:22pm Report to Moderator Report to Moderator

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Quoted from Chloe


I'll explain.  Thermometers used to be filled with mercury.  They'd break, the mercury would fall
somewhere and my mother let me play with the metal.  It was heavy and wet and could break up
in your hands...rolling it back and forth, allowing it to just feel wet and funny was sort of fun.
(not so funny now, given I was a kid and I've also  been an adult with mercury toxicity). Hair
samples, blood samples, urine challenge test all showed high mercury, cadmium, arsenic.

Yes, thermometer mercury is malleable but not a solid like the mercury used in dental fillings....Those silver fillings combine other metals which allow it to be compressed into a tooth
and supposedly sealed....  The mercury in thermometers is more like silver water, only it feels heavy for it's size. That was the appeal....the feel of the mercury in my hands...Cool, wet, heavy.

So I was, a young child, often playing with mercury.  What I learned is that it clung to other metals... and I totally ruined my 14 karat band on my birthstone ring. It turned it silver and eventually the silver turned

grayish/black. The mercury residue could not be cleaned off the
gold ring.

THe stupid things we did as kids, not knowing how bad it was to play with mercury.  Not that
thermometers were broken often in my house but I always called first dibs on playing with it.

As insane as this sounds, a dentist I went to recently (but won't continue to see) told me that
mercury based fillings are perfectly safe....I told her it's a cover up by the dental profession.
She looked at me suspiciously.  I told her I've had mercury toxicity....she laughed and said I
don't know what I'm talking about.  She also never heard of the blood type diet. She's 45 years
old and obviously has been residing on another planet for many years as she's totally clueless
about my reality.

As for mercury in fish....it's methyl mercury

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mercury_in_fish

I'm a bit paranoid about eating large fish....which means they've been
in water way too long and have had the time to accumulate not only heavy metals but PCBs.

As for my old metal fillings, working on getting them all replaced with composite.  And found
another dentist who is in agreement that mercury fillings can leak and cause toxicity.


Chloe, thanks for the explanation.

I guess the real purpose of my post, which I did not make clear, was that he stated that the mercury his parents played with was harmless.  I was hoping to point out that the mercury was anything but harmless.


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sk8ter
Thursday, July 3, 2014, 1:49am Report to Moderator Report to Moderator

Early Spring: Awareness, desire.
Posts: 26
Hello guys I did make myself clear that elemental mercury that's in or used to be in thermometers  is harmless please do your homework as i have I would never write about something like this if i was absolutely sure I was correct

again to recap elemental mercury that your, my parents sometimes got to play with is really not harmful even if eaten it does not absorb into your body or through the skin but can be harmful like i said above ....if you have a large quantity of the stuff and sealed your face around it and breath the  fumes (this is whats toxic) for an hour or so you may get a low dose of mercury poisoning...but IMO do your own research I did mine  which was not junk science like lots of stuff on the internet!


good luck
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Possum
Thursday, July 3, 2014, 2:34am Report to Moderator Report to Moderator

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Ee Dan
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I remember, the only time I broke a thermometer, I still didn't take any chances... Even though we were fairly broke, had 2 small children etc, I bundled up the bath mat it landed on and threw it out in the trash!!
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C_Sharp
Thursday, July 3, 2014, 1:59pm Report to Moderator Report to Moderator

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Quoted from Possum
I remember, the only time I broke a thermometer, I still didn't take any chances... Even though we were fairly broke, had 2 small children etc, I bundled up the bath mat it landed on and threw it out in the trash!!


Throwing mercury devices in the trash is currently illegal in the US (do not know about New Zealand). Probably was not when you broke it.

Most thermometers in the US  do not use mercury as the liquid.

It is illegal to use a thermometer for a medical use in many states if it does contain mercury.

Only one manufacturer in the US currently makes any thermometers containing mercury (these are not for taking a person's temperature. They are for industrial use.). That company is working on converting their products to use other substances. The National Institute of Standards no longer calibrates or certifies thermometers using mercury.


MIfHI                            I follow a SWAMI diet.
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Patty H
Thursday, July 3, 2014, 3:03pm Report to Moderator Report to Moderator

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Quoted from C_Sharp


Throwing mercury devices in the trash is currently illegal in the US (do not know about New Zealand). Probably was not when you broke it.

Most thermometers in the US  do not use mercury as the liquid.

It is illegal to use a thermometer for a medical use in many states if it does contain mercury.

Only one manufacturer in the US currently makes any thermometers containing mercury (these are not for taking a person's temperature. They are for industrial use.). That company is working on converting their products to use other substances. The National Institute of Standards no longer calibrates or certifies thermometers using mercury.



All of which leads me to believe it is anything but harmless.


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Chloe
Thursday, July 3, 2014, 4:24pm Report to Moderator Report to Moderator

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Quoted from Patty H



All of which leads me to believe it is anything but harmless.


I'm in total agreement. Look at the detailed procedure for handling mercury spills...

http://www.epa.gov/earlink1/mercury/spills/

and here is a report regarding the danger of mercury in thermometers

https://health.state.tn.us/Downloads/mercury.pdf


"The happiest people don't have the best of everything.....they know how to make the best of everything!"

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Chloe  -  Thursday, July 3, 2014, 5:04pm
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Spring
Wednesday, July 9, 2014, 11:38am Report to Moderator Report to Moderator

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Dear me, Chloe, that dentist must be working very hard to try to fool people or remain stupid herself. I don't blame you for leaving her behind.


"We are all born ignorant, but one must work hard to remain stupid." -- Benjamin Franklin
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Averno
Wednesday, July 9, 2014, 12:49pm Report to Moderator Report to Moderator

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I think it's a good idea to have amalgam fillings replaced, careful handling of old thermometers, fluorescent bulbs etc., but keep in mind that most common source of ingested mercury comes from the fish we eat.  Coal fired energy plants, especially the older ones, are largely to blame for the unhealthy concentrations of mercury we see in the human population. This will only get worse over time, so the question is whether we'll have to give up eating fish or burning coal.
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Patty H
Thursday, July 10, 2014, 2:08am Report to Moderator Report to Moderator

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Quoted from Averno

I think it's a good idea to have amalgam fillings replaced, careful handling of old thermometers, fluorescent bulbs etc., but keep in mind that most common source of ingested mercury comes from the fish we eat.  Coal fired energy plants, especially the older ones, are largely to blame for the unhealthy concentrations of mercury we see in the human population. This will only get worse over time, so the question is whether we'll have to give up eating fish or burning coal.


My personal experience suggests otherwise.  I had a mouthful of amalgam fillings since I was a young child and Dr. Nash (Dr. D's former associate) had my metal levels tested.  She said she had never seen anyone so high in mercury and lead.  One look in my mouth and you could see why.  It took me over a year and a half to have all the amalgam removed from my mouth.  I had to do each quadrant of my mouth at a time.  Once I did, my levels came WAY down but they are still extremely high.  Now that my amalgams have been out for a few years, I need to have my levels tested again.  I lived no where near a coal fired plant.  I did eat fish, but I ate a lot of meat and chicken as well.  Fish can be pricey so it was not always in the budget, especially some of the fish with high concentrations of mercury, such as swordfish.  I don't like shark, so I never eat it.  Not all fish is high in mercury.  

However, given the fact that amalgams have a high concentration of mercury, which is one of the metals that make them malleable so that the dentist can pack them in tightly into the cavity, that they are in your mouth, a warm, wet environment, and that they break down over time, it is my belief through my own personal experience and my dentist's, that they are much more responsible for my high levels of mercury toxicity than my fish consumption.

I can, however, see how someone who lives in a city or near a coal fired plant could get their mercury toxicity from that.  I would just not discount the extreme exposure of a mouthful of mercury.

Another issue to consider is your body's ability to handle the metal load.  I have a problem with this, which makes things much worse.  I often wonder if it is the chicken or the egg - in other words, does my body have a difficult time because of my metals toxicity or is my genetic predisposition solely to blame.  Maybe if I did not have a mouthful of metal my good genes would have been turned on and I would not have the problem.  My genes certainly compound the issue.

I think this is a perfect example of how we are all individuals and our environments can contribute to our health problems.


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Averno
Thursday, July 10, 2014, 3:19pm Report to Moderator Report to Moderator

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Quoted from Patty H

I think this is a perfect example of how we are all individuals and our environments can contribute to our health problems.


I think this says it all. Amalgam fillings may be the worst offender for certain people, but worldwide, the most common source is from eating fish. For people directly exposed to mercury, that would be their main source.

I had the last of my fillings replaced just recently, so I'm with you and very keen to taking these steps. I think we all should. Educating the public (and many dentists, unfortunately   ) has been too slow IMO.

One note: proximity to a coal-fired power plant isn't necessarily the primary factor here. Toxic contaminants and particulates get airborne and circle the globe until it falls with rain. Mostly in the ocean. Eating high food-chain species over time can accumulate quite a dose.

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