Mercury in History:
Amazing Stories

Alvin H. Danenberg, DDS Nutritional Periodontist
October 16, 2017 [printfriendly]



Mercury In History
Liquid Mercury

On February 10, 2015, the FDA (Food and Drug Administration) reported its current position on dental amalgams.


On September 30, 2016, the ADA (American Dental Association) reaffirmed its safety rating for dental amalgam fillings in the mouth.


The FDA and the ADA believe that there is no potential biological harm from mercury in dental amalgam fillings. However, I have written several articles about mercury as a hidden poison. (HERE, HERE, HERE)


I found some amazing stories about mercury in history and mercury’s effects on the human body. The following two events are intriguing and thought-provoking. I would think that the outcome from these stories in the past would have resulted in banning all possible exposure to mercury going forward. That’s not what really happened.


Mad As A Hatter

“Mad as a hatter” was a phrase used to describe a person whose behavior was unpredictable or crazy.


The expression is directly related to the hat-making industry in the past and mercury poisoning. In the 18th and 19th centuries, the hat-making industry used mercury nitrate as part of the process of preparing the fur of small animals to produce felt for hats. Those working in these factories had excessive exposure to mercury vapor. Prolonged exposure to residual mercury vapor caused employees to develop a variety of physical and mental ailments. These symptoms included tremors (called “hatter’s shakes”), speech problems, emotional instability and hallucinations.


It wasn’t until the early 1940s when the US banned the use of mercury for the production of felt in the hat industry.


Minamata Disease Disaster

In May 1956, four individuals from Minamata, a coastal city in Japan, were admitted to the hospital. These patients experienced very high fever, convulsions, psychosis, loss of consciousness, and coma. They died in the hospital.


Then, another 13 people from another fishing town near Minamata suffered the same symptoms. All were admitted to the hospital; all died. Many more people began to get sick in the area, and many of them died. Eventually, the doctors came up with a diagnosis – mercury poisoning.


It turns out that a fertilizer chemical plant dumped mercury into Minamata Bay as a waste product. Fish in the Bay became contaminated with mercury; people consumed the fish; many people died. Approximately 900 residents in the area died, and 2,265 people directly suffered from mercury poisoning. The disease became known as “Minamata Disease”.


Political and corporate pressures worked against a quick solution to the obvious problem. Amazingly, it took 12 years before the fertilizer company was ordered to halt dumping mercury into Minamata Bay.


New Research

Mercury vapor is emitted from existing dental amalgam fillings continuously. But, the powers-that-be suggest mercury in dental amalgams is not toxic to human tissues. My review of the most current science continues to show the relationship between chronic degenerative diseases and mercury toxicity.


Of the articles I read recently, four were excellent summaries of current research. Two articles discussed mercury’s effects on the immune system and autoimmunity. One article showed how conventional Wi-Fi devices increase the release of free mercury vapor from dental amalgams. And, the last article proposed the emerging trends of current research.


Read the science, and make up your mind. My mind is made up. I believe that mercury has no place in the human body.



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