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The Mercury Controversy

 Mercury is both the most toxic of all non-radioactive metals as well as the most ubiquitous in people.  Virtually everyone is guaranteed daily exposure to this toxic metal due to the practice of putting this metal in dental fillings.  Some 22 million tons of mercury are put into fillings in America every year.  To put the toxicity of mercury in perspective, if a single silver (mercury) filling was removed from a client’s mouth and put in a ten-acre lake, the EPA would have to order a fish advisory for the lake.  Fishing, swimming, bathing, boating in that lake would all be off limits. 

 To remove mercury, the chelators DMPS and DMSA are often used, but both have serious drawbacks.

 DMPS has been shown to cause the following side effects:


·        auto-reactive T-cells

·        increases in T-suppressor cells

·        liver toxicity

·        kidney damage

·        stomach ulcers


DMSA has been shown to cause the following side effects:


·        bone marrow suppression

·        increases in tumor necrosis factor

·        liver toxicity

·        nausea

·        diarrhea

·        anorexia

·        fatigue

·        flatulence


EDTA can chelate mercury without any of the side effects associated with DMPS and DMSA, just not as quickly.  As you can see on the chart on the previous page, EDTA makes a very stable bond with mercury.  It was previously thought that EDTA could not remove mercury in vivo.  This was believed because it had never been seen to show up in the urine on a provocative EDTA challenge test.  This is partially correct.   Under most circumstances mercury bound EDTA, will not come out of the urine, but it will come out of the stool (but no one thought to look for it there).  You can get mercury bound EDTA to come out in the urine by giving a large amount of EDTA over a short period of time but this is not recommended.  The kidneys are very sensitive to mercury, and if your body can get rid of the mercury through the stool, so much the safer.  Since mercury is normally detoxified via the colonic route, EDTA suppositories may prove to be more effective than I.V. EDTA chelation for this purpose since the highest concentration of the EDTA in suppositories is being delivered right to the colonic mucosa.