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You Should Stop Eating Fish
This report was transcribed from Dr. Joseph Mercola ND website www.mercola.com. I reformatted and edited out colorful treatment of parts of his text to meet the visual standards of this website. Dr. Mercola is based near Chicago. His clinic is a healing source that uses whatever works to restore your health. Nutrition is his base line.
Toxic waste generated by U.S. industry jumped more than 25 percent in 2000, according to data released on May 21, 2002 by the U.S. EPA.
The data, part of the federal Toxics Release Inventory, established by Congress in 1986 as the nation's community right-to-know program, show about 38 billion pounds of toxic waste managed in 2000, with another 7.1 billion pounds released directly to the air, land and water. Louisiana led the nation in toxic waste generated, with more than nine billion pounds generated.
Analysis by U.S. PIRG, a public interest advocacy organization, showed that current Bush administration proposals to weaken environmental protections would hinder progress toward reducing this toxic pollution and in some cases would exacerbate the pollution. The group argued that billions of pounds of toxic chemicals released show the problems with current law that make it nearly impossible to remove harmful chemicals from the market.
Industries released 4.3 million pounds of mercury and mercury compounds to the environment and generated 4.9 million pounds of mercury compounds in toxic waste.
By comparison, a teaspoon of mercury deposited every year can contaminate a 20-acre lake to the point that fish are unsafe to eat. A 2001 report by U.S. PIRG and the Environmental Working Group found that fish contamination is already so high that eating fish exposes 1 in 4 pregnant women to levels of mercury that could threaten a developing fetus.
Metal mining and utilities were identified as the nation's biggest polluters, with 3.4 billion pounds of toxic chemicals released by mines, nearly half of total chemical releases, and 1.2 billion pounds released by the utilities and by mines.
The Toxics Release Inventory reflects only a fraction of the toxic hazards in the environment. The program does not include releases from significant pollution sources like oil wells, airports, and waste incinerators, nor does it include significant sources of exposure to chemicals, such as chemicals placed in products.
In addition, the TRI represents only a fraction of the chemicals on the market. While there are approximately 80,000 chemicals on the market, according to EPA and American Chemistry Council studies, gaps in toxics laws mean that at least some of the data needed to perform a basic screen for health and environmental effects were not publicly available for more than 90 percent of the chemicals.
U.S. PIRG is the national lobbying office for the state Public Interest Research Groups. State PIRGs are non-profit, non-partisan public interest advocacy groups.
U.S. PIRG Public Interest Research Group May 23, 2002
DR. MERCOLA'S COMMENT:
Folks, mercury is extremely toxic and it only takes a few mg of mercury to kill you. It is primarily released from the burning of coal to generate electricity and there is more than enough flying around in the environment to cause you serious damage. Consider this - there are 454,000 mg of mercury in a pound and nearly 5 million pounds of mercury were released into the environment in the US alone.
Bacteria and chemical reactions in lakes and wetlands change the mercury into a much more toxic form known as methylmercury. Fish become contaminated with methylmercury by eating food (plankton and smaller fish), which has absorbed methylmercury.
As long as the fish continue to be exposed to mercury, mercury continually builds up in fish's bodies. Fish that eat other fish become even more highly contaminated.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the National Academy of Sciences have determined that eating mercury-contaminated fish is the primary route of exposure to mercury for most people.
Some fish have less mercury then others, but it has been my experience that nearly all fish are contaminated with mercury. I have done thousands of hair mineral analysis on patients and can confidently tell you this is true.
Patients who don't eat any fish are the only ones who have immeasurable levels of mercury in their hair. In my experience anyone eating fish has mercury and nearly always in direct proportion to the frequency they are eating fish.
So it is my strong recommendation to stop eating all fish now. Folks, listen to me carefully on this one.
AVOID EATING FISH
It has mercury that will absolutely compromise your health.
We all need the omega-3 fats but you should get them from a clean source. Most of the fish oil supplements go through a molecular distillation process to clean out the mercury, but you should definitely contact the manufacturer directly to confirm this.
As I have said previously, Costco sells fish oil (Kirkland brand) and I have seen three separate independent analysis that confirms it is free of mercury and also is relatively non-oxidized.
Editor: Dr.Mercola denounced Costco's fish oil later in 2002 when he noticed that patients began doing poorly on it. No particular reason, it just wasn't working. He now prescribes Carlson's Cod Liver Oil after seeing the same patients perk up upon switching Carlsons for Kirkland (Costco).
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