Evidence of Harm **edited

There is a promising new documentary out on mercury and its devastating effects.  Of course, I haven’t seen it, but here is the first trailer.  And here is the second trailer.  Margaret Hamburg put the kibosh on validating mercury toxicity…she had a little reason ( $$$ )to do so.

Stacy Case details her devastating effects from mercury poisoning including fibromyalgia, which has a surprisingly common link to it.  That is, you are more likely to have fibromyalgia/chronic fatigue than not when poisoned by mercury/heavy metals.

Without seeing the entire film, it’s hard to comment, but from the trailer, it doesn’t look like Stacy got the “mercury face” that I and others had developed.  I’m half tempted to put a photo I took of myself in 2010 to show the effects…but I’m reluctant.  Anonymity, and all that…

All I can tell you is that mercury was doing its damage looong before it showed up on my face — although I was quite pale when most toxic– I also had been a vegetarian for about seven years, and my skin actually glowed in the first few years..  Ironically, being vegetarian was likely linked to making things worse because I ate more pasta to get filled up. Oy.

In the 2010 photo,  the right side of my face is drooping slightly; my eyes have lost their “light” — the iris was darkened and cloudy (so was my vision); my skin and hair are thinner; eyelashes and eyebrows are sparse (for me); and muscle wasting (my cheeks are fat German cheeks, but they were noticeably lacking in former muscle thickness);  Not shown in the photo is, of course, fatigue where I could only garden in our flower garden for an hour and a half before needing to go rest;  my left thigh  was severely affected so that it look nearly half the size of the right thigh.  It now looks nearly the same…but some lingering weakness sometimes.  Boy, it’s hard to look at that photo.

Here’s an account that does a very good job of describing the horrible experience of not only being physically ill, but not being believed when you’re sick!  She also had the same experience that I did — finding Andrew Hall Cutler’s website and crying after reading all the symptoms associated with mercury poisoning.

Below is an interview with Dr. Cutler:

Lastly, the story of Minamata, Japan...and *cat dancing disease*…also known as mercury poisoning. A really good read in that it not only discusses the physical damage, but encompasses the ripple effect of pollutants.  They estimate 10,000 victims and 3,000 deaths —

From the report:

Children were also born with the “disease.” The geographical distriubtion of cases widened. In 1963, Public Health Service researchers traced the disease to mercury from Chisso. Controversy soon erupted over who was responsible for compensating the victims and supporting their families. It was not until 1970 that a district court ruled that Chisso make payments totalling $3.2 million to the original group of patients; others soon received payment by negotiating directly with Chisso.

Chisso still operates in Minamata and now produces chemicals, fertilizer and floppy discs. The city has diminished in size, now almost 70% of its peak population in the 1960s. Mercury permeates sediment of bay, where fishing has long been prohibited. One of the two dumping sites is being filled in and a memorial garden is planned. The incident is rarely discussed, but residents know that things have changed; a certain confidence or buoyancy is missing. In a sense, the way of life in Minamata itself has been poisoned.


The most outrageous part of this is the sentence “Chisso still operates in Minamata and now produces chemicals, fertilizer and floppy discs.”


The report states that years after the fact, the umbilical cord showed mercury concentrations.  Gah, I wish I had known that when I was pregnant with my kids — an easy way to find out toxic load that I carried that was transferred to them.

So much has been lost due to this industry — the residents have lost their health and years of their lives, their offspring have been harmed by the damage that mercury does to DNA, their community became pitted against one another; and the bay and wildlife within have been poisoned beyond recovery so that fishing is banned.  Their way of providing for themselves has been permanently damaged…and yet this negligent industry is allowed to continue!  It doesn’t make sense.


In the Japanese view of medicine, the condition of the body reflects how the individual has maintained his or her balance with the external world–and sickness can be viewed as something “deserved.” The victims were thus often implicitly “blamed” for their own condition. Also, wary of contagion, residents ostracized disease patients.


It’s not just Japanese medicine, folks, you’re accurately describing American medicine and culture, also.


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