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An Interview with Dr. Philip Landigan, Mercury Expert

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An Interview with Dr. Philip Landigan, Mercury Expert

 

By Molly Rauch, Moms Clean Air Force

While researching my blog series on mercury, I kept reading about “mixed results” of epidemiological research on mercury, with the implication that we can’t be sure whether methylmercury exposure from eating fish is harming children. I decided to get to the bottom of this and some other questions by talking with Philip Landrigan, a pediatrician and Dean of Global Health at Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York, where he also directs the Children’s Environmental Health Center. Dr. Landrigan is an expert on children’s environmental health, and has written extensively about the health effects of exposure to mercury, lead, and other chemicals in the environment. (Full disclosure: back in the era of my personal history that I refer to as B.C. — Before Children — as luck would have it, I had the great privilege of working for Dr. Landrigan.) Here’s an excerpt of our conversation.

Interview With Dr. Philip Landigan:

What do you make of epidemiological studies that show no neurological impact of methylmercury exposures?

I’ll put it a different way. The best of the epidemiologic studies have shown an impact. There have been three epidemiologic studies. There was Philippe Grandjean’s study in the Faroe Islands, there was Tord Kjellstrom’s study in New Zealand, and thirdly there’s the study that was done in the Seychelles by the group from the University of Rochester. Of those studies, the Faroes study, has clearly shown an effect. The New Zealand study also shows a clear effect. And the Seychelles study, which has long been touted as a negative study, actually shows some evidence of an effect when you dig down into the data. When the National Academy of Sciences reviewed this issue in 2000, they made the determination that the benchmark study that people should use is the Faroe Islands study. They consider it to be the best one.

Can you talk about the health impacts of methylmercury aside from its effects on the brain?

There’s suspicion that it interferes with cardiac function, possibly by interfering with the cells in the heart that are involved in regulating cardiac rhythm. There have been published studies that show that people who are exposed to mercury have elevated rates of heart disease.

Next page: more of my interview with Dr. Landigan

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Moms Clean Air Force

Moms Clean Air Forceis a community of moms, dads and others fighting for clean air and the health of future generations. Follow them on Twitter @ MomsCAF.

54 comments

+ add your own
7:30PM PDT on Apr 6, 2014

Thx

8:01AM PDT on Aug 8, 2012

Thank you Dominique.

8:23AM PST on Dec 11, 2011

We're much more exposed to mercury from food and water than from any vaccines.

8:14AM PST on Dec 11, 2011

The Heavy Metal Toxicity link doesn't seem to work. It takes me to the title of the article for "Are You Toxic to Mercury" the article right above it.

4:05AM PDT on Sep 25, 2011

heard that mercury is pretty toxic

1:44PM PDT on Sep 23, 2011

The chemical that used to send miners crazy due to exposure... they are putting that in your teeth?

6:29PM PDT on Sep 22, 2011

thnxs for this

8:21PM PDT on Sep 21, 2011

I am fervently seeking employment, and I have NO extra $$ for dentistry. I have a couple of teeth with big mercury fillings, where much of the surrounding tooth broke away leaving a lot of the filling exposed. Thankfully they're in the back so they don't show. I also have several "regular" mercury fillings where the surrounding tooth is still good.

About a 1-1/2 years ago I began having terrifying symptoms. I couldn't remember a thing for more than about 30 seconds. I'd forget what I was saying in mid-sentence! "Automatic" behaviors I'd done all my life were starting to fall away. Also I had irregular heart rhythms. WTF???!!!

A Care2 article tipped me off to possible mercury amalgam poisoning! The Amer. Dental Assn. swears there's no connection. NOT TRUE! Though my dr. pooh-poohed it, I put myself on a heavy-metal detox regimen, and to my astonishment things started improving IMMEDIATELY. I'd also, for 2 long years, had a massive gum infection around the titanium post of my one "implant" tooth. (Mercury is said to react badly with any nearby metals). That IMMEDIATELY started going down and is now gone!! My heartbeat is regular again. My memory prob's are better but not gone.

MERCURY FILLINGS ARE DANGEROUS; DON'T LET THEM LIE TO YOU!!!

WHAT I WANT TO KNOW IS: YES, I CAN STOP FURTHER DAMAGE ---- BUT WHAT ABOUT THE BRAIN DAMAGE ALREADY DONE? WILL IT GRADUALLY REVERSE/REPAIR ITSELF? I NEED MY TELOMERES TO KNIT BACK TOGETHER!

2:35AM PDT on Sep 21, 2011

thank you

8:05AM PDT on Sep 20, 2011

thanks for sharing

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Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of
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