Mercury is a poisonous neurotoxin commonly found in everyday sources - from drinking water to bleached flour and cosmetics. Behind lead, mercury is the second most common metal toxin and both can pose great physical and mental health problems. Learning problems, developmental delays and behavioral problems are linked to lead, mercury and other heavy metal exposure. A 2000 report by the National Academy of Sciences stated that toxic chemicals and other environmental factors cause about 3% of all developmental and neurological disorders in the United States.

Mercury and heavy metal toxicity can cause or be mistaken for chronic conditions such as depression, fibromyalgia, autism, Attention Deficit Disorder, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, Multiple Sclerosis, and a host of other serious disorders. Children are especially susceptible to heavy metal exposure. Even small amounts of lead, mercury and other heavy metals can pose a threat to a child's developing brain.

Physical symptoms of mercury toxicity include:
- Mood swings.
- Depression and/or anxiety.
- "Brain fog."
- Chronic infections.
- Food allergies.
- Migraines and/or headaches.
- Gastrointestinal complaints.
- Visual disturbances.
- Chronic malaise.
- Chronic muscle or soft tissue pain.

If you have been diagnosed with a chronic physical or mental health condition, discuss oral chelation with your healthcare professional. Removing mercury and other heavy metals through a detoxification process can greatly improve symptoms, or eliminate the symptoms altogether.

Oral chelation therapy is widely used for heavy metal detoxification. EDTA (ethylene diamine tetra-acetic acid) is the most commonly used chelator for heavy metal detoxification. EDTA attaches itself to heavy metals and carries the metals from the body. EDTA is safe and FDA-approved for treating lead poisoning and toxicity from other heavy metals. A quality EDTA oral chelation formula will target mercury, lead, arsenic, aluminum, plus another dozen or so toxic heavy metals trapped deep within the organs, tissues and bones.

Detoxification is the "upstream" approach to addressing chronic health concerns. Detoxification removes the root cause of the problem instead of simply addressing the symptoms. In traditional health care, symptoms are often addressed using pharmaceutical drugs, which can further add to the body's toxicity.

After cleansing to body of heavy metals and other toxins through chelation therapy, avoiding future exposure to heavy metals is important.

First, avoid "silver" amalgam fillings and consider replacing silver fillings with porcelain materials. The porcelain is not as durable as amalgam fillings but they are more attractive and healthier. Silver (amalgam) fillings contain about 50 percent mercury by weight. Research studies show that even small amounts of mercury can damage the brain and internal organs and suppress the immune system. The World Health Organization reports that the daily intake of mercury from amalgam fillings exceeds the combined intake of all mercury consumed from food, water and air. A study of human autopsies found a strong correlation between the number of silver fillings and the amount of mercury found in the brain. Mercury is a suspected cause of Alzheimer's Disease.

Second, demand thimerosal-free vaccines when vaccinating an infant. Thimerosal is a mercury-based preservative used in vaccines. For every vaccine that contains thimerosal, there is at least one thimerosal-free brand. A growing amount of evidence links thimerosal to neurodevelopmental disorders, developmental delays, behavior problems, autism and Attention Deficit Disorder and behavior problems.

Also avoid consuming bottom-feeder seafood like lobster, oysters and clams that may contain toxic levels of mercury. Tuna, mackerel, and swordfish contain the highest levels of mercury of all fish.

Mercury, lead and other environmental factors are everywhere - in the air we breathe, the food we eat and the water we drink. You might not be able to completely avoid all exposure but you can limit your exposure.

To maintain health and remove toxins, detoxify the body annually with oral chelation therapy. Between detoxifications, maintain a regular exercise habit. Sweat release toxins from the body so any exercise program that causes you to break a sweat will cleanse the body and boost the immune system.

Author's Bio: 

Freelance journalist Jeannine Virtue moderates the Attention Deficit Disorder Help Center, a web site dedicated to natural alternatives for ADHD, depression and stress. Go to for more information about oral chelation and heavy metal detoxification.