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Mercury’s Rising


a blog by Marie Lee

Jeremy Piven, the actor, had quite the hoo-ha when he stepped down from his role in the revival of David Mamet’s play, Speed-the-Plow, because he said he had mercury poisoning.

I find it funny that everyone’s making fun of him. Even the New York Times described it as “A Fish Story” and reported it in the Entertainment section. And of course it’s all over Gawker.

Whether or not he technically has an out on his Broadway contract, anyone, as Piven does (or did) who eats sushi twice a day (and, may I safely assume, he can afford the really expensive, fatty tuna that comes from large — ergo, more time to collect mercury — varieties of tuna) puts themselves in danger of mercury poisoning, no matter how healthy you start out.

What does this have to do with fertility?

Well, any time you put anything toxic into your body, your body has to work all the harder to get it out —liver, pancreas, digestive system. Now add the fact that heavy metal detox depletes glutathione, an important antioxidant, and can cause poor digestion/absorption, which may impede your uptake of many important vitamins including folate.

Especially for older moms or people with competing health problems, just a little more stress could tip things the other way.

You can’t debate the science of mercury toxicity. As far as the Periodic Table goes, it’s the second most toxic substance (plutonium is #1). And the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR) of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, lists mercury as the third-most frequently found (lead and arsenic are first and second), and the most toxic substance in the United States. Our friends at the American Association of Poison Control Centers also say it is the second-most common cause of acute heavy metal poisoning.

You might not like Piven’s acting on Entourage, but on this, give the guy some sympathy David Mamet!

So how to avoid this toxic substance? Sadly, it’s in the air we breathe (do you live by a coal fired plants? an active volcano?). I wrote a whole chapter on how to avoid mercury (and lead and other heavy metals of its ilk) in the book Green Babies, Sage Moms.

In the meantime, here are a few daily things besides your tuna fish and sushi that contain mercury to varying degrees:

- Murphy’s Oil Soap
- Dove soap
- Flu shots
- Contact lens solution and saline
(it’s called thimerosal)
- “Silver” dental fillings (p.s. it’s NOT recommended to have these removed when trying to become or already being pregnant—it’s like asbestos, disturbing it creates even more havoc).

You might be interested to know that the FDA has been having trouble setting “safe” limits for mercury because NO AMOUNT is safe.

Because you’re already getting some through normal daily living, try to avoid it when you can, make your body a nice, pristine home!

Visit my blog: Green Fertility

Comments (2)

Hi Kaliegh,

Yes, more info is going to be coming! Next up: how to look at your period to guage your fertility health, great supplements to optimize fertility, waterproof shoes w/o fertility bending chemicals...and non invasive fertility "helpers"...and more! Stay tuned!

Thank you so much for this information! I am trying to get pregnant with my first baby so I love to read your blog... I got to this one from your GreenFertility post and really love the computer fertility tracking software! Thanks again and keep the info coming!

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