Your Flu Shot is a bio hazard
Mercury implicated in Alzheimer’s Disease in a review of the scientific literature published today.
November 15, 2010 Safeminds press release
SafeMinds has developed a new campaign to educate the public about the continued use of a mercury preservative, known as thimerosal, in the majority of influenza vaccines, including those given annually to seniors. “We intend to empower the public to make informed decisions about flu vaccines. There is a tremendous amount of misinformation being circulated about mercury having been removed from vaccines,” says Lyn Redwood, RN, MSN, Executive Director of SafeMinds. “While there are mercury-free flu shots available, consumers are often unaware that they need to ask for them and insist on not being exposed to mercury.” Download full release. Read more about mercury and Alzheimers.
10 Sources of Mercury That You Can Do Something About!
By Katie Weisman, SafeMinds Environmental Committee
Mercury is dangerous. Most of us know it but few of us really have a handle on all the places it is present in modern life. Few of us know how much mercury it takes to pose a threat or how to reduce our exposure. This new ongoing series of articles will clarify these issues and help you to protect yourself, your family and our planet.
These are potential sources of mercury that you need to be aware of. This is by no means an exhaustive list, but is intended to outline key exposures for large populations.
1. Fish consumption
2. Dental amalgam
4. Fluorescent Lighting
7. Thermometers and Thermostats
8. Emissions and Occupational Exposures
9. Fungicides/Disinfectants and Paints/Glues
10. Plastics, Bleach and Other Chlor-Alkali End Products
Mercury has been used in the past in many more products than it is today and with far less attention paid to its toxicity. From candles to fishing sinkers to the children’s sneakers with the “light-up” heels, mercury has been removed from many consumer products. However, you need to be aware that the old chemistry set or blood pressure gauge sitting in your grandparents’ attic may be a threat.
Ironically, considering its toxicity, mercury has had many medicinal purposes even recently. It was used directly as a “cure” for syphilis from as early as 1025 in Persia until the 20th century – despite any evidence that it cured the disease.
Mercury was also used in children’s teething powders (calomel) and caused a condition called acrodynia (pink disease) in approximately 1 in 500 exposed infants that lead to peripheral neuropathy, peeling rashes on their hands and feet, kidney damage and extreme photophobia. Mercury’s use in teething powders was not discontinued until the 1950’s when doctors finally figured out the connection.
Another common use of mercury was in Mercurochrome – the lovely reddish disinfectant that many of us remember being used on our cuts and scrapes as children. Its use has been discontinued in the United States since 1998 when the FDA changed it’s status from Generally Regarded as Safe (GRAS) to questionable, but it is still widely available in other countries.
And last, but not least, mercury in the form of thimerosal has been used and is still being used in some cases to preserve solutions that a consumer might use over and over again, such as nasal sprays and saline solution. The “sensitive eyes” formulas for contact lens wearers were designed for those people who reacted to the thimerosal in the original formulations.
As you can see, reducing your mercury exposure requires awareness. Stay tuned for the first article in our series on Fish Consumption in our next newsletter.