Heavy Metals.

What a wonderful way to end year-two, with Dr. Phil! Dr. Phil was one of the most inspiring professors this year.  He taught the course Clinical Nutrition. I learned more in one of his classes than I did in after completing an entire semester in other courses. He ended the class wishing us well; telling us that we have entered a very special profession and that we are going to help many people's lives.  A simple comment, but inspiring and motivating... a lovely thing to hear especially when exams loom.

One of his classes earlier in the semester was about environmental medicine.  We talked about heavy metal poisoning (often a cause of Autism!).  He told us that whenever we see a patient presenting with neurological complaints (including Autism or an Alzheimer's-like presentation) or unexplained abdominal pain, consider heavy metal poisoning.  The follow are common sources of heavy metals. Remember, heavy metals are toxic!

         Latex and paint
         Polluted water
         Broken thermometers
         Fish (tuna!)
         Dental amalgams

         Lead based paint
         Drinking water (lead pipes)
         Plastic mini blinds
         Some fertilizers
         Lead glazed cookware

         Automobile exhaust
         Water (galvanized pipes)
        Refined flour/rice
        Metal rust-proofing material

         Insecticides (especially those for ants)
         Wood preservatives
         Well water

         Aluminum welding
         Municipal water
         Processed foods (pop cans!)
         Antacid medications (like Tums)
         Aluminum cookware
         Food preservatives
         Dental materials
         Tin coated cans


  1. Mercury, and sometimes other heavy metals, are also found in fluorescent lights, like the long troffer lights found in most public buildings and the little coils which have replaced old-style incandescent bulbs. It is very important to take them to a proper recycling facility after they burn out, or if they break. Throwing them out with the trash can lead to environmental contamination.

    On the brighter side (*Knee-slap!) LED lights do not contain mercury. They are also more electrically efficient and much longer-lasting than fluorescents, and in addition they produce a more natural tone/colour of light than fluorescents. Keep an eye out for LEDs next time you have to replace a lightbulb!

  2. Funny you say that, because I read all about LED lights on this really neat blog recently :P


Thanks for your comment!