Upon closer inspection…

Calomel (contains high levels of mercury) was used as a teething powder for infants.

We just got an e-mail request for our soap from a fashion designer who works with unfinished garments imported from China.  It turns out that these garments could be contaminated with heavy metals:  arsenic, cadmium and lead and as a result, she is undergoing chelation therapy to remove heavy metals from her body.

This is a clear example of how easily we all take our environment for granted:  “I don’t work in an industrial plant where I could be contaminated.  So obviously, I don’t need to worry!”  Wrong!!

Another recent example:  my banker loves tuna and was eating it everyday, until her headaches became so bad, she began to connect her symptoms to her daily tuna consumption.  There have been numerous reports about the unsafe levels of mercury and heavy metals in tuna.  We hope to include a more detailed post on this very shortly.

Your good health is your own business and you should take it very seriously.  Don’t expect other people, such as your mother, your boss, or the government to watch out for you.  And don’t wait until you have a health issue.  Protect yourself through education and awareness of your working and living environment.  For instance, we all take certain precautions in our homes or apartments:  we have fire alarms, and often carbon monoxide detectors.  But there are much more serious risks around us, and they don’t advertise their presence.

We all know about lead, the second most hazardous element behind arsenic.  The media has covered this dangerous toxic metal extensively.  It is found everywhere:  in the air, in our water and in our food.  And its acute effects on the body include damage to the brain and central nervous system or in chronic form low reflexes, anemia, high blood pressure as well as reproductive, kidney and liver disorders.  For a more detailed list of symptoms see our recent post.

What about some of the other heavy metals, like mercury, one of the oldest and deadliest of poisons.  In the 19th century, mercury was used as a cleaning agent, thereby giving rise to the term “mad hatter”.  Up until the  1940’s, mercury salts, or calomel, were used as teething powders for infants.  Then there are organic mercury compounds, (used in fungicides and herbicides) that can readily be absorbed by the body.  However, the signs of mercury poisoning take an exceptionally long time to appear.  And by now, everyone knows about the harmful effects of methyl mercury in fish (damage to kidneys, reproductive failure and DNA alteration).

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