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Toxic Metals and Chemicals

Is this you? If so, you may be chemically sensitive.

  1. Can you smell things better than most people? And do these smells annoy you?
  2. Do you have trouble tolerating alcohol? Have you ever had a drug problem?
  3. Do perfumes and strong cleaning agents bother you?
  4. Do you feel worse in certain stores ( eg. fabric, clothing, paint ) or malls?
  5. Are you sensitive to medications, even ibuprofen, tylenol and aspirin?
  6. Do vitamins sometimes make you feel worse?
  7. Do you dislike driving in city traffic? Does driving in it make you feel woozy or is your reaction time impaired?

Here's what happens: Chemicals/Metals back up in the bloodstream disabling our detoxification systems which then can result in many awful things like:

  1. Chemicals/Metals being stored in fat, the brain and other lipid tissues.
  2. Chemicals/Metals poisoning or damaging enzymes and other parts of the detoxification system.
  3. Chemicals/Metals recycling in the detox pathyway, overloading it so new chemicals cannot be detoxified.
  4. Chemicals/Metals then get piggybacked into new pathways and produce new symptoms.
  5. Backlogged chemicals/metals can poison or damage every system.
  6. Backlogged chemicals/metals can damage the endocrine, nervous and immune systems so that you can come up with almost any symptom imaginable, including namebrand diseases like Parkinsons, any autoimmune disorder like lupus et al, or terribly disabling symptom complexes like Chronic Fatique, Fibromyalgia and Irritable Bowel.

We are at the mercy of the chemical companies, blasted continuously by heavy metals and chemicals - over 60,000 of them on a daily basis. If you came to me for testing, I may have found that you were either chemically sensitive, are struggling with heavy metal burden or, as is often the case, both.

After I announced that "My testing suggests that you are burdened with chemicals and/or certain heavy metals and that's why you might feel fuzzy, can't think, are fatiqued, are on Prozac, have high blood pressure, are constipated, have heart palpitations, are hyperactive, have been diagnosed with a chronic disease." Etcetera ad nausaum - the list of symptoms for chemical and metal burden are endless.

You may have replied, "Well, how did I get this?" Well, that's the $64,000 question. I can't possibly tell you where and when you got that one dose of chemicals or heavy metals that sent you over the edge. Where was that point where your liver cried "Uncle!" and started slacking on the job? When did you started feeling not quite right? But here are some suggestions that might help you figure our for yourself at what point your environment became toxic for you:


Dr. Henry Schroeder, one of the worlds authorities on trace elements, noted 20 years ago that chronic toxic metal exposure is a more dangerous and insidious problem to human health than are organic substances such as pesticides. Metals can be inhaled as fumes or dust particles, they can be ingested in food or water or absorbed through the skin. They can be acutely or chronically toxic and are often toxic to the organs that cannot detoxify them. Furthermore, symptoms may not develop for months or years, making toxic metal poisoning very difficult to determine. Metals are lipid loving and have an affinity for the brain and other neurological tissue which is why over-exposure to heavy metals has been implicated in many of the devastating neurological diseases like Parkinsons, ALS, MS and Alzheimers.

Aluminum: Is the third most abundant element on earth and the most abundant metal. It is found everywhere. Cooking pans, foil, table salt and baking powder, soft drink cans, antacids, hemorrhoid preparations, vaginal douches, bleached flour, leavening agent in cake mixes, processed sliced cheeses, water treatment, food additives, deodorants, acid rain leaches aluminum from soil, rocks and sediments from lakes. Toxicity can cause brain damage and senile dementias, dermatitis, skeletal demineralization, slow learning, and it interferes with calcium and phosphorus metabolism.

Arsenic: Leather, termite treated lumber, rat poisoning, pesticides, herbicides, pigments, well water. It's a neuro-toxin and toxicity can cause muscle spasms, cancer and cardiac irrgularities. Can bind to all hormone receptors promoting overexpression of that hormone (esp. estrogen) thus promoting cancer.

Barium: Medical contrast media, paper products, jet fuel, pigments. A neuro-toxin, too much barium can cause liver degeneration, cardiac, kidney and lung damage.

Beryllium: Ceramics, dental supplies, tobacco. Reduces stores of magnesium, reduces organ function and too much beryllium can cause shortness of breath and coughing, lung inflammation, tinnitus and alcoholism.

Cadmium: A major source of cadmium is dust from automobile tire erosion. Cigarette fumes, air pollution from auto exhaust, the burning of fossil fuels like coal, oil incineration of munipical wastes containing plastics and batteries, pesticides, stabilizer of plastics, fertilizers, tires, plating, alloys, soldering material, PVC, pigments, paints and pottery, porcelein crowns. Cadmium is toxic to the lungs and chronic exposure can cause emphysema. It can damage the kidneys and cause hypertension, can lead to anemia, a poor sense of smell, undiagnosed pain syndromes including burning sensations, a yellowing of the teeth at the gum line, arthritis, Alzheimers, leg pain in children and adults and cadmium can trigger inumerable cancers.

Chromium: Dental supplies, metal plating, anodized aluminum, stainless steel, leather tanning, paints, dyes, explosives, cement. Too much chromium can cause lung disease, anemia, brain swelling, eczema, headaches and ulcers. Too little nutritive chromium can create the mileau for diabetes, hypoglycemia, alcohol intolerance, irritability and muscle weakness.

Copper: Water pipes (esp. in soft water areas), medicines, pesticides, fungicides, blood copper levels raised by contraceptive pills, brake lining, wiring, dental amalgams, coins, algicides in hot tubs. Toxicity can cause rheumatoid arthitis, heart disease, GI irritation, schizophrenia, cancer, muscle tetany, numbess and food sensitivities.

Gold: Dental work, jewelry, gold salts for treating rheumatoid arthritis. Toxicity can cause mouth ulcerations, itching, eczema, dermatitis, alopecia, inflamed gums, GI symptoms like colitis, blood abnormalities, and kidney damage.

Iron: Building materials, steel, toner for photocopy machines, food additive, stainless steel, cast iron cookware. Toxicity could cause abdominal pain, arthitis, loss of libido, damage to liver, heart and pancreas and people with some neurodegenerative diseases like Parkinsons and dementia show an excessive accumulation of iron in the brain.

Lead: Everyone has lead accumulation in their bodies, mostly stored in our teeth and bones. Until 1977 lead was used in paints, so any indoor/outdoor painting done before 1977 is highly toxic. Leaded gas, old water pipes, leaded paint, lead plumbing, solder, pottery, cigarette ash, pewter, lead crystal ware, hair dyes, auto exhaust, living downwind from municipal incineration plants. Lead can damage the brains of young children. Other possible toxic effects include loss of appetite, constipation, abdominal pain, can cause miscarriages and still births, headache, weakness, blue or black lines on the gums, anemia, poor coordination, unsteady git, visual disturbances, paralysis, kidney failure, leg pain in children, retardation in children, arthritis, tinnitus, seizures, schizophrenia, autism, cancer.

Manganese: Textile bleaching, glass manufacture, fertilizers, pottery glazes. Can cause muscle disorders like involuntary movements and changes in muscle tone.

Mercury: Dental amalgams, pesticides, fungicides, thermometers, mercurochrome antiseptic, contaminated fish, vaccines, volcanic emissions. Mercury accumulates in the brain damaging brain cells and in the lungs damaging the alveoli. After a mercury dental filling is placed, low levels of mercury release for several years as chewing releases mercury vapors and infinistesimal amounts of elemental mercury. Toxicity can lower the immune system by damaging enzyme systems which fight off infections, can mimic other diseases like carpal tunnel, shoulder arthritis, tennis elbow or even lupus, MS , Parkinsons and bipolar disorder. Can cause tremor, muscle instability, sensory disturbances, GI symptoms, dermatitis, liver and kidney damage, anemia, blue line on the gums,outbursts of anger and/or depression, excessive salivation.

Nickel: Stainless steel, water boiled in a kettle with an element, jewelry, glasses, buckles, keys, coins, diesel fumes, some flour as a result of milling, hydrogenated vegetable oils. Toxicity may be implicated in lung cancer, frontal headaches, vertigo, nausea and vomiting, chest pain, cough, prostate problems, cancer. Contact dermatitis is common in sensitive people.

Silver: Dental material, jewelry, photography compounds. Toxicity will create an ashen/blue-gray darkening around the eyes and nose, throat, skin and nasal septum. Kidney damage is common.

Thallium: Glasses, jewelry, dyes, pigments, recreational drug contaminant. Toxicity can cause fatigue, unexplained nerve pain, weight loss, reduced immunity, leg pain in adults, arthritis, MS, Alzheimers.

Tin: Dental material, canning, solder, fungicides, glass coatings. Toxicity could cause nausea, colic, headache, joint and muscle pain, tinnitus.

Titanium: Dental material, surgical metals (hips, knees), jewelry, sunscreen, filler in many prescriptions and OTC medicines, mascara. Most common effect is seizures.

Zinc: Galvanized iron, brass, solder, die-casting, tires; the oxide form is used in sunscreens, paints, rubber, textiles, and plastics. Too much or toxic zinc can cause GI disturbances, difficulty in walking, slurred speech, hand tremors, impaired copper and iron absorption. Too little nutritive zinc can cause red greasy skin on face, skin problems, poor hair growth, dandruff, persistent leg ulcers and pressure sores, night blindness, brittle nails, white spots on nails.


Because there are so many chemicals, the following will just be a very broad brush of just a few of the over 60,000 chemicals we are exposed to on a daily basis. Just because the names are unfamiliar to you does not mean that you do not encounter them every day of your life. No one is immune. As victims of the industrial revolution and the chemical companies, all we can hope to do is to become aware of the dangers, where they are coming from and reduce them in our environment as much as possible.

Acrylamide: Is used to make large molecular compounds called polymers which are used as flocculators or chemicals that cause particle to cluster together, drilling-mud additives, surface coatings. Papermaking workers, soil stabilization workers, textile workers, well drillers. Can cause peripheral neuropathy.

Ammonia: Used to clean glass and other surfaces. It can cause wheezing in people who are sensitive.

Asbestos: Found in the air from deteriorating building materials (It was outlawed in 1970) such as acoustical tiles. There is no safe level and can cause serious lung problems and cancer.

Aromatic amines: Used in the manufacture of textiles, paper and pulp, and in leather tanning. Can cause bladder cancer.

Atrazine: An endocrine disruptor, Atrazine is this country's most widely used pesticide. It has been shown to cause sexual abnormalities in frogs and cancer in rats and humans. Atrazine and its byproducts are widely found in low levels in US waters, esp. after the planting season when rains wash the chemical out of fields. Popular with farmers because it is cheap and effective, it has been banned in 7 European countries.

Benzene: Found in synthetic fibers, plastics, cigarette smoke, spot removers and other solvents. Also found in commercial meat, esp. the fat. Can cause irritation to the liver, kidney, and GI tract. Likes high fat organs like the prostate and can cause impotence and promotes pre-cancerous cell changes.

Cigarette smoke: Contains more than 50 chemicals and is accociated with lung cancer. Nonsmokers who are exposed to sidestream smoke are exposed to more chemicals than the person smoking the cigarette.

Carbon Monoxide: From automobile exhaust, in cigarette smoke. Can cause death at high levels and at low levels, causes headache, dizziness, nausea, extra heartbeats and personality changes. Can't smell it, so can be lethally exposed without even knowing it.

DDT: Although outlawed in the 70's, is still around and recirculates in our bodies, easily disrupting hormones.

Ethanol: Found in some duplicating fluids. Can cause dizziness

Fiber Glass: Used for insulation in buildings. When it is inhaled into the lungs, it stays there permanently as an irritant.

Formaldehyde: Plastics, particleboard, paper and embalming, insulation, building materials, resins, textiles, carpets and furniture (eg. your new couch, your new bed, your baby's brand new crib. . .) It can seriously outgas for as long as two years. A known trigger for asthma,skin rashes and can irritate the eyes, nose and throat. The long-term effects are unknown.

Particulates: These are particles small enough to be inhaled into the lungs. Ciagarette smoke, gas stoves, wood stoves, fireplaces, kerosene space heaters and furnaces. At high doses can cause lung disease. Particulate matter acts synergistically with other chemicals to increase the toxicity of both.

Perchlorate: A rocket fuel component that is contaminating our nation's drinking water. Perchlorate toxicity can masquerade as numerous symptoms and diseases, and is particularly devastating for developing infants. Our mixed organic baby lettuce greens (irrigated by regular unfiltered water) now contain about 121 part per billion of perchlorate, which means that we are being exposed - just from one salad from "organic" greens - with more than the EPA's recommended daily total dose for perchlorate.

Plastics or Pthalates: In all soft plastics, like water bottles, juice containers, fast food microwavable foods and more esoteric things like transfusion bags. Are hormone mimicers. (Use only glass, ceramics and hard plastics.)

Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons: This is a group of hundreds of chemicals. Gas and coke plants, aluminum reduction plants, iron and steel foundries, roof and pavement tarring and coal-tar paints. Are known carcinogens. This group of chemicals is so potent in causing cancer that only one dose is given to animals in order to create research rats with cancer.

Radon Gas: Occurs naturally in the soil and rocks. It enters buildings through the soil or from contaminated groundwater and tap water. Colorado has a naturally high radon incidence and it is wise to have your house checked. Radon has been implicated in lung cancer and lung disease.

Solvents: Used to clean electronic parts, in paint, as degreasers, finger nail polish, glues for fake nails. Causes central nervous system toxicity, and peripheral neuropathy.

Styrene: Used to manufacture boats, wall panels, tub and shower units, truck camper tops. Can experience headaches, fatigue, memory problems and dizziness.

Sulfuric Acid: Used in the manufacture of fertilizers, inorganic pigments, textile fibers, pulp and paper and as a componenet of lead and storage batteries. Jewelers, electoplaters, metal cleaners. Can cause a cough, chest tightness, burning of the throat.

Toluene: Used in white-out solutions and is a skin irritant

Vinyl Chloride: A building block of PVC pipes, lighting fixtures, weather stripping, wall coverings, electrial wires, synthetic carpets. PVC's can emit vinyl chloride as it deteriorates which is a carcinogen

Volatile Organic Compounds: VOCs are chemicals that contains hydrogen and carbon. VOCs are found in lacquers, adhesives, waxes, cleaning agents, cosmetics, paint and paint remover, inks, disinfectants, perfumes, air fresheners, synthetic fibers, drapes, drycleaned clothes, pesticides and plastics. VOCs can cause eye irritation, headaches, nausea, respiratory symptoms, fatigue and mood swings.

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