Thursday, November 30, 2006

Mercury as a cause of autism

Town Musician

Alyssa Abkowitz wrote an article on 10/25/06 in "Creative Loafing Atlanta" entitled: "CDC launches study to find causes of autism. Atlanta to be included in five-year project." The idea that the CDC wants to investigate the causes of autism is certainly a good one. What is not so good is their plan to exclude mercury from their investigation. Today I included my two-cents worth in the publication's comment field. I feel that it is worth repeating here with some added information:

I find it very strange that mercury-testing is not being included in the study. First of all the Thimerosal link has not been disproven to my satisfaction. Second, there are all kinds of ways a child can be exposed to mercury without receiving it as an injection. The baby may have been exposed through the mother and her flu- or Rho-gam shots. The mother may have received amalgam fillings while pregnant. She may have spilled a mercury thermometer and used a vacuum to disperse it for maximum damage. An old house may still have mercury paint fumes in it. Sometimes exterior paint is used indoors because people don't know any better. Exterior paint still contains mercury sometimes. Breaking fluorescent light bulbs also exposes you to plenty of mercury. And all this happens without being exposed to even one bite of tuna. The amount of mercury in fish has to do with the mercury environment the fish grew up in. If it came from the San Francisco Bay, right there you would have a nicely poisoned fish. It is beyond me how one very poisonous substance is systematically being excluded from investigation when all kinds of other little hazards get the full treatment. The newest one is polonium. It takes very little polonium to kill, as we found out recently (remember the Russian spy story?). I commented on that in my previous blog. Maybe it will awaken the population to other poisons. All suspected causes for autism have to be included. When I was taught to analyse a substance for what chemicals it contained, I would not have gotten away with only testing what was convenient and easy. Same goes for autism. Look for all the culprits, not just the ones that do not self-incriminate.

Saturday, November 25, 2006

I haven't had time

Town Musician

My time was limited last week. The translation of the Kieler Amalgamgutachten certainly had something to do with it. But, no, that wasn't it. My husband and I had to drive to Santa Cruz again to visit our handicapped son at the hospital. It was another medical emergency. But now things are a little better, and we can breathe easier. Why is it that some people have all the bad luck piled onto them and others come away unscathed? Just as the Bremen Town-Musicians couldn't have predicted that they would wind up having to band together and go to the big city, some of us will have to at least figuratively band together to make the best of it. I have decided not to charge for my translation of the Amalgamgutachten. I find it vital in the pursuit of a very dangerous substance that might affect many people in the world. So I decided that it had to be brought out into the open. Reading the story of the Russian spy who just died from a very tiny amount of polonium should give people the idea that what I am talking about is at least possible with mercury. It is interesting that polonium attacks cells and jumbles their DNA, and then slowly kills them off. They are being rendered non-functional. That's in effect what mercury does, but not as quickly.

Sunday, November 19, 2006

The Dangerousness of Mercury Vapor

Town Musician

The most important article written by Alfred Stock was the one he wrote in 1926. Here, the famous German chemist describes in great detail how he found out that he was poisoned, and what micromercurialism is. Alfred Stock was a chemistry professor who suffered from the effects of mercury all his life. He, more than anyone in those days, was acutely aware of the subtleties of mercury poisoning and its insidiousness. Mercury is an increasing environmental problem today and should never be underestimated.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

I like my orange fall just the way it is

Town Musician

I am so glad that I am not a compulsive weeder. I just recently noticed a Chinese pistachio near my neighbor's fence. It is only about five feet tall and has already the range of colors that you see on a fully grown tree. This year my trees shine like the morning sun on a rainy day. First is the persimmon tree. Then there are several crepe myrtles; they show their best dress now. The birches and maples are yellow and the Asian pear tree almost matches the persimmon tree in its burst of orange. I am not looking forward to winter, but this year fall makes winter worthwhile.

My Secret Garden

Town Musician

It is a little late this year worrying about the butterflies. But I am planning ahead for next spring. I won't prune my passion-vine so that the viceroys can pretend to be monarchs, and I'll leave the fennel standing for the swallow tails. My butterfly bush is there waiting for next year. I still have some kohlrabi in a pot hoping that cabbage white caterpillars eat the leaves. The hummingbirds are still dipping into the honeysuckle and the fuchsias and the blue jay is picking at the pumpkin on the porch. My yard is overgrown, and gardeners throw messages tied to stones on the driveway advertising about how my front yard could be improved. But I like it the way it is. I still remember the time without birds and butterflies during the 1980s after the fruitfly eradication. In those days squadrons of helicopters passed straight over our house night after night and pelted our landscape with malathion. All the little bugs died, and there were no more wasps, and no birds because there was no food for them. That was ten years without birds and butterflies. The fruit flies were gone, too. But at what price?

Friday, November 10, 2006

A link to my website about mercury

Town Musician

I just added a link (view side bar) of my mercury amalgam web site. Feel free to make comments about it. Ask me anything you want.

There was ice on my windshield this morning

Town Musician

There is a law in California banning Thimerosal-containing flu vaccines as of earlier this year. (Thimerosal contains mercury). I guess, when it's mercury, the law doesn't count. The vaccine manufacturers don't have enough mercury-free doses. The rascals simply didn't prepare to have enough on hand. So, the law is "temporarily (?)" being ignored. What if someone just temporarily lifted laws dealing with assault? Poisoning (with mercury) is an assault on the body. But since autism, ADHD, and speech disorders have not been accepted as being symptoms of anything, there is no reason to look for a cause. Right? Toxicology and pathology, they are the step-children of the medical profession.

I had to scrape ice from my windshield this morning, it was so cold.

Thursday, November 09, 2006

The morning after

Town Musician

Now that all those people (Hilary and Bill Clinton) have stopped calling me with their personal messages, I can rest a little easier. It's great to see that the democratic process works. That's what I mean by Town Musician. If we are all Town Musicians we might achieve things that no one could do alone. The hard part starts now. The newly elected politicians have to come through with their promises. I found letter writing very effective to keep your congresspeople and senators on message. Even if you get only a computer-generated response, somewhere these opinions are tallied. They matter, and in ever so tiny increments they shape public opinion. I know. It's working for me.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Getting your flu-shot and the election and long lines

Town Musician

Yesterday I went to the health fair at Stanford. The first thing I saw was an incredibly long line of people waiting to get their annual flu-shots. I am against flu-shots because they contain Thimerosal. Seeing the queu snake out the front of Tresidder, I couldn't help myself thinking about the negative effects of mercury and my own past experiences with mercury (Thimerosal is half organic mercury). I guess the people queuing-up, like lambs going to the slaughter house, don't know that mercury compromises the immune system. I still had a good time filling my plastic bag with goodies such as pencils, pens, a toothbrush, a massaging tool, and various other handy little gadgets. It was like going trick-or-treating. We got chocolates and candy, too. Why would they do that at a health fair, give out sweets? They cause obesity.

Later yesterday, I went to vote. When I got there, I encountered an incredibly long line of people waiting to vote. I waited an hour before I could do my duty. Several voting machines were down. I finally got to vote, but the touchscreen voting machine ran out of paper receipts. So, I had to vote once more. Not to worry, my vote was not recorded twice. What a rich reward it is, seeing the election results today .

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

When I didn't see President Reagan

Town Musician

Reading all the news about the election today, I am reminded of the time when I had tickets to an event at De Anza College to see Ronald Reagan. I never got to see the President because he was over two hours late, but the event was memorable because I found out how the public is being fooled. The event was held at the Junior College's athletic field. Going in it became apparent that only ticket holders could see the President inside a chain-link-fenced inner area. The whole thing was staged like that so that it seemed that the crowd was huge. I went in. It was indeed packed, and the sun beat down on all those present. There was a long line of people waiting for some kind of refreshment. I didn't bother joining in. The crowd was remarkably quiet even though there was a person trying to rally the spectators before the President's arrival, and to get them properly pumped up. Nobody was pumpable. They were all wilting. After two hours of a no-show, I decided to leave. The fascinating thing was that on the outside of this fenced-in area loudspeakers were insinuating that the crowd was cheering the coming of the President, and that there was whooping and hollering. I knew this was not a reflection of what really went on in there.

Kieler Amalgamgutachten

Town Musician

I am in the process of translating the Kieler Amalgamgutachten, a 131-page study of mercury amalgam and its toxic effects, and the legal ramifications of its use. At page 18 the teratogenic effects of mercury vapors are being described very well. I wished I had known, way back when, what I know now.

Monday, November 06, 2006

What does Iraq have to do with mercury?

Town Musician

So, why do I bring up things that have happened so long ago? I'll answer that with another question. Would I bring them up, if they had no relevance today? Certain events certainly have affected my life. Events from long ago really do affect other people's lives, too. Again Iraq comes to mind. In the early '70s there was a drought in Iraq. This meant that the farmers couldn't plant seeds because they had been so hungry that they had eaten even their seed grain. Very early that year they asked other countries for help. A few countries responded with generous supplies of grain. But before I talk more about that, I have to mention that several western countries had noticed that their soils had become polluted with methyl-mercury from fungicide-treated grains. So these countries made it illegal to treat grain with mercury. Since these countries now had an excess of pink mercury-preserved grain, they gladly responded to Iraq's cry for help by sending it overseas. But instead of shipping the grains early in the spring when the seeds could have been planted for a harvest in the fall of the same year, the seeds arrived in sacks, properly labeled as poisonous with scull and cross-bones, in Iraq in October of 1970. Iraq received about 100,000 tons. It was distributed equally all over the country. Farmers now had all that grain, but they couldn't plant it. Winter was coming and they were still hungry. They then asked themselves if that grain was really all that poisonous. They fed their chickens with it to see what would happen. Nothing happened after a week, nor two weeks, nor six weeks. So the farmers thought that the grain was really not poisonous at all. They butchered the chickens, and they baked pink bread. The food was given first to the pregnant women, the children, and the old folks because they needed it most. The children loved the pink color of the bread. Months later, many of the old folks died. The children became sick with neurological symptoms including blindness and mental retardation. The babies were born either dead or severely poisoned. The mistake the people had made was that they didn't know that it takes sometimes months before organic mercury poisoning shows itself in the form of symptoms. The countries that had sent mercury-laced seed grain were Sweden, Mexico, and the United States. Do those poisonings affect Iraqis today? You bet they do.

Sunday, November 05, 2006

Iraq, the cradle of civilization

Town Musician

The important thing is to think and assess the risks inherent in deciding on a certain path. I have to digress now ever so slightly. I can't help thinking about what's happening in Iraq. First of all, it was a mistake going in there. But why in the world didn't anybody consider the intelligence of the people whose culture includes the stories of A Thousand And One Nights. The stories of the Thief of Baghdad and Aladin and the Magic Lamp are well known, I presume. Should it not be a given that the people in that country are not dumb? The country is the cradle of civilization. Why was their known intelligence not being taken into account? They knew they could not fight an enemy by conventional means.

Saturday, November 04, 2006

About the risk

Town Musician

So, would my mother have done better keeping me out of the bomb shelter? My grandfather never went. I think he hated the stuffy air and the people packed in like sardines. That time he was especially glad to not have joined us. Instead he worried about us, and how we had survived the blistering heat. The bomb shelter was not necessarily a safe place. What do you do? Should you anticipate that you might not survive the shelter because it was targeted by the bombadier? Our family talked about that. We didn't go to underground shelters on principle because we had heard that the one nearest to our house had been bombed and nobody came out alive. We only went to above-the-ground shelters. We weighed the risks. Weighing the risks carefully is as important now as it was then.

Friday, November 03, 2006

The heat in the bomb shelter and mercury

Town Musician

My first experience with the environment came at a very young age. I was only four years old. I was in a bomb shelter in Germany. A bomb had fallen next to the concrete building, and I remember the air around me getting hotter and hotter. At one point my mother told me that it was 57 degrees Celius. That is hot. The building had no windows. The air holes, which were evenly spaced throughout the overpopulated room, only allowed hot air to enter. There was no escaping that place. Guards kept people from entering or exiting. After eight hours of dehydration the doors were opened. Air never smelled so good after that. My mother told me that the people on the second-floor infirmary had all died. All the infirmary's equipment had melted. The thermometers had broken from the heat. The spilled mercury in the room had evaporated. My mother told me later that I stopped talking for a while after that experience. She said that my skin became rough as Esau's skin. I had the symptoms of mercury poisoning

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Why I am a Town Musician

Although I am a musician -- I play recorder and clarinet -- the title of my blog shouldn't be taken literally. I am interested in all things concerning society as a whole, and what makes society tick, and how it achieves its goals for better or worse. I wanted to use the title "Mercury On My Mind" because mercury has an impact on how people think and behave. But that was already taken. My title is derived from "The Bremen Town Musicians." The Town Musicians reflect cooperation, diversity, and ingenuity in the face of adversity. That's what this blog is about. I am interested in how the environment changes all our lives, and what we can do to improve the knowledge of how something impacts the future of our lives.