Toxic Metal Hazard

Another way to avoid toxic metals is to eat only organically grown food. This is a must today, as commercially sprayed food often contains high levels of pesticide residue — mostly lead and arsenic — and some mercury compounds.

by Dr. Larry Wilson — 

Everyone has excessive levels of toxic metals in their bodies, regardless of what any test reveals or doesn’t reveal. In fact, today we are exposed to the highest levels of toxic metals in recorded history — up to several thousand times higher than several hundred years ago.

Toxic metals are minerals that have no known function in the body and are very harmful to our health. There are two dozen or more toxic minerals which include lead, cadmium, mercury, arsenic, aluminum and nickel. They are particularly damaging because they are persistent and cumulative. The late Henry Schroeder, M.D., a world authority on minerals, wrote that “Most organic substances are degradable by natural processes. However, no metal is degradable … they are here to stay for a long time.”

Toxic metals are a major cause of all disease in both humans and animals. They can cause inflammation, infection, irritation and tissue damage by replacing essential or vital minerals in enzyme-binding sites. This, in turn, cripples or even destroys the enzymes that are needed for every body function.

Sources of toxic metals. We take in toxic metals through our food, water, air and by direct contact with the skin or other parts of the body. Sadly, all toxic metals pass easily through the placenta from mother to child. As a result, all children today are born with excessive amounts of toxic metals in their bodies. These are called congenital toxic metals and can cause every imaginable childhood problem, from birth defects and delayed development to ADD, ADHD, autism, infections and childhood cancers, all of which are on the rise in the U.S. and globally.

Toxic metals compete with vital minerals for absorption and utilization. Therefore, eating a diet high in any kind of white flour, white sugar or other mineral-deficient foods will increase one’s absorption of other toxic metals found in foods, water, air or elsewhere.

Individual toxic metals — Lead

Lead could be called the “violence” toxic metal. It is the most researched toxic metal and has been mined and used for thousands of years. Common sources of lead include pesticides, printing, inks, lubricants, paints, dyes and leftover lead from leaded gasoline.

Unfortunately, some lipsticks and dark hair dyes still contain lead. Eating fish, especially shellfish of any kind, is another common source of lead.

Symptoms of lead toxicity. Lead is associated with more than 100 symptoms. The popular book, Beethoven’s Hair, discusses many of the problems with lead. (It was discovered that the great composer was poisoned with lead, probably from drinking from pewter cups.)

Lead replaces calcium (as well as the sedative elements, magnesium and zinc) in the body, leading to many cases of osteoporosis. It can cause ADD, ADHD, lowered IQ and almost every imaginable neurological and neuromuscular symptom. It can affect the adrenal and thyroid glands, and cause anemia, Alzheimer’s disease and many other illnesses. Lead poisoning is also intimately connected with violent behavior.


Mercury could be called the “mad hatter’s” toxic metal, as it was used in hatmaking 150 years ago and caused a form of madness in those who worked in the industry. Today mercury is everywhere, and everyone is exposed to it. The two most common sources are silver dental amalgams and fish of all kinds, especially larger fish like tuna. If you have dental amalgams, also called silver fillings, have them replaced. If you have active cancer, however, wait until it is in remission, as amalgam removal can occasionally worsen cancer.

Fish. Hair tests of those who eat large quantities of fish reveal high mercury. Fish found in some rivers and streams are better than others, but determining where fish originated is nearly impossible. Small fish have less mercury. However, strictly avoid tuna, shark, king mackerel, mahi mahi, ahi and sashimi used in sushi. Sushi is one of the worst foods because it often combines raw fish (a source of parasitic and other infections) with tuna, mahi mahi or ahi, and nori (mercury toxicity).

Shellfish are often worse than fish. In addition to mercury, most shellfish contain excessive cadmium, arsenic and other toxic metals. It is best not to eat shrimp, muscles, crab, scallops, lobster, oysters, eel or other shellfish. In most areas, the contamination is only worsening.

Symptoms of mercury toxicity. These are extremely varied. Mercury particularly affects the kidneys, liver, brain, endocrine glands and muscular system. However, this toxic metal can affect any organ or system of the body. Most mental illnesses and neuromuscular diseases like multiple sclerosis, along with hundreds of other conditions, are related to mercury toxicity.


Aluminum is the “soft-in-the-head” metal, because it is a soft metal that affects the brain. It is very widely distributed in the environment of all industrialized nations. Common sources are table salt, aluminum cans and foils, uncoated aluminum cookware, antacids, all antiperspirants, some cosmetics, all tap water and mineral supplements from the earth, such as fulvic or humic acid, zeolite, bentonite, montmorillonite and others.

Symptoms of aluminum toxicity. The skin, the nervous system and the digestive tract are most often affected. Aluminum toxicity can impair memory and cognition, and is associated with some dementias. Memory loss in teenagers has been known to improve dramatically when aluminum was removed using a nutritional balancing program.


Fluoride could be called “the bone destroyer.” A tiny amount in food can be helpful for the bones; however, today everyone in the U.S. and Great Britain gets far too much, perhaps because the toxic dose is very close to the therapeutic dose. The main source of our fluoride is our water supplies, but it is also found in smokestack effluent from plants that make fertilizers or refine aluminum and uranium.

This waste product also adds cadmium, lead, benzene, radiation and other toxic chemicals to our tap water. Water fluoridation has been shown to be ineffective against tooth decay around the world and has been phased out in almost all nations except the U.S. and Great Britain, where powerful lobbies hold sway over health authorities.

Other sources are fluoridated toothpastes and mouthwashes, as well as fluoride treatments done at dental offices. These may be given to children without parental consent. All are very toxic and unnecessary for tooth decay prevention. Fluoride added to drinking water has found its way into the groundwater, food and the food chain. In my view, the idea that we need more is insane.

Studies indicate that some foods, such as reconstituted fruit juices and baby foods, can contain as much as 40 parts per million fluoride. The “recommended safe level” in drinking water is 1 ppm, which is too high, according to many studies.

Symptoms of fluoride toxicity. Fluoride is a powerful enzyme inhibitor. It replaces iodine in the thyroid gland and calcium in the bones. Common symptoms and illnesses are low thyroid activity, impaired IQ, fatigue and cancers.

Fluoride is corrosive. Boiling fluoridated water in aluminum pots increases the etching of aluminum by 600 percent. Fluoride in drinking water also increases the leaching of lead from solder in water pipes and increases lead toxicity. The only flouride-free water is distilled, RO or spring water. RO water, however, is not suitable for drinking as it does not appear to hydrate the body nearly as well as a good-quality spring water or most distilled water.


Cadmium is the “tough cookie” mineral because it toughens or hardens the personality, along with the arteries and the kidneys. It is extremely poisonous and is found everywhere today in refined foods, tap water and smoke from cigarettes and marijuana. Shellfish and coffee also contain traces of it.

Symptoms of cadmium toxicity. Cadmium is associated with all of the modern killer diseases. It tends to harden and inflame the arteries, leading to arteriosclerosis, atherosclerosis, impaired circulation, hypertension and heart failure. Elevated hair cadmium is highly correlated with cancer, in my experience. Cadmium poisoning can exacerbate hypoglycemia, diabetes and mental illness, especially paranoia and violence, and many other problems.


Arsenic is the “slow death” metal. It is commonly used in pesticides to kill certain insects, but is also deadly to humans. Even organically grown food may have arsenic residue, because the crops were often grown on land formerly sprayed with arsenic-containing pesticides.

Symptoms of arsenic poisoning. Most symptoms are vague, including weakness, malaise, aches and pains, sore throat, diarrhea, ringing in the ears, headaches, vertigo, pallor and even worse: coma and death.

Uranium and other radioactive elements

Radioactive minerals may be called the “stealth killers,” because they offer no signs or symptoms in low doses. There are approximately 60 radioactive variants or isotopes of common elements that are either shorter- or longer-term emitters of radioactive particles. They include: iodine-131; platinum-190 and -192; samarium-147, -148 and -149; rubidium -87; rhenium -187; thorium-231 and -232; strontium-90; uranium-235 and -238; potassium-90; vanadium-50; zirconium-96; and lead-211.

Sources. Environmental sources include nuclear bomb tests, medical radioactive materials, waste from nuclear plants such as runoff water used to cool the plants, cesium-containing smoke detectors, some food irradiation equipment and war-related nuclear material, such as depleted uranium used as ammunition.

Radioactive minerals are the most damaging to human health in that they damage tissue at the DNA level. However, they are not as chemically toxic as lead, mercury or cadmium, fortunately. All babies are born with some radioactive elements in their bodies, though they may be hard to detect.

Radiation toxicity receives little attention today, even from holistic doctors, mostly because this type of poisoning is so silent, subtle and difficult to detect. Also, few methods exist to remove radioactive minerals.

Overcoming the effects of toxic metals

While we live in a sea of toxic metals, it is easier than you might think to avoid most of them. It is also simple enough to remove many toxic metals from the body, and it need not require chelation therapy, which I consider less safe and less effective.

Avoiding toxic metals. This is simple if one is willing to avoid tap water completely and drink only distilled or spring water. While spring water may contain some arsenic, it is in a form the body can handle. Carbon filters remove very few toxic metals.

Any filter that merely cleans tap water is unacceptable. If one wishes to avoid toxic metals, it is better to avoid all alkaline water machines and others. These are dangerous for long-term use, in my clinical experience, because they add platinum to the water — another deadly toxic metal.

Another way to avoid toxic metals is to eat only organically grown food. This is a must today, as commercially sprayed food often contains high levels of pesticide residue — mostly lead and arsenic — and some mercury compounds.

Finally, one must avoid handling toxic materials. This is more difficult for those working in the building trades, for example, or in auto mechanics. These individuals need to wear gloves, use respirators on dirty jobs, and wash their hands and clothing frequently.

Removing toxic metals

The common medical method for removing toxic metals is chelation, which uses a drug or natural substance to grab toxic metals and pull them out of the body. Problems with this method are (1) the drugs are somewhat toxic, (2) chelation only removes some of the toxic metals and (3) all chelators remove, along with the toxic ones, some vital or essential minerals.

This can pose a serious problem. One cannot simply replace the zinc and calcium, for example, with a vitamin pill or IV drip, because the chelators can upset body chemistry at deeper levels.

Three methods that remove all toxic metals from the body (and even some radioactive minerals) in a gentle and safer manner are:

1. Nutritional balancing science that uses hair mineral analysis. This practice removes all heavy metals by gently balancing body chemistry. As this occurs, the body’s energy increases, which enables the body to eliminate toxic metals.

2. Near-infrared sauna therapy using heat lamps. This method can remove all toxic metals and dramatically improve circulation by inducing sweating, and many other means as well. Most people need to use a sauna daily for at least two to five years to remove the bulk of the toxic metals.

The sauna and nutritional balancing will also slowly remove hundreds, if not thousands of toxic chemicals, which all of us have in our bodies. Near-infrared light saunas will also slowly rid the body of dozens of infections that most of us have as well.

3. Colon cleansing and/or daily coffee enemas. These are also excellent methods to reduce toxicity in the liver and colon, in particular.

For more information about the removal of toxic metals, visit


Dr. Lawrence Wilson has a medical degree, has been in the health field for more than 25 years and is the author of several books. or 928-445-7690.

Reprinted from AzNetNews, Volume 28, Number 6, Dec 2009/Jan 2010.

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