Mercury In Hair
If you're struggling with ongoing hair problems which include dull, lank, dry or damaged hair, the environment may be partially to blame. Especially if you consume healthy foods, drink the proper amount of fluids and treat your tresses with tender loving care.
Many people may not be aware there are a lot of toxic compounds floating around in the air which may lead to chronic hair challenges for some.
Some of the more insidious toxins which are known to currently exist and can directly impact hair include mercury, arsenic, chromium and nickel. More than 60 air borne toxins have been identified.
When mercury is deposited in the hair it can cause a range of problems. How does mercury make its way into the hair?
Hair, Mercury And Methyl-Mercury
Mercury is also a current environmental poison which can be ingested through some types of seafood which absorb methyl-mercury from air-borne mercury which migrates from the air to water. People may be injured by neurotoxins from eating fish. Even babies still in the womb can suffer mercury related damage. Mercury can also settle into the hair causing a myriad of ongoing problems.
Whenever environmental toxins like mercury enter your body through food, air or other means, the blood carries the toxins. These environmental pollutants are deposited into hair follicles as well in various organs of the body.
When they're carried to the hair, they are trapped permanently in the cortex of the follicles where they remain until they are cut off.
Fish With High Mercury Concentrations
As mercury and methylmercury are fat soluble, they primarily accumulate in the viscera, although they are also found throughout the muscle tissue. When this fish is consumed by a predator, the mercury level is accumulated.
Since fish are less efficient at purging the toxing than accumulating methylmercury, fish-tissue concentrations increase over time.
Thus species that are high on the food chain amass body burdens of mercury that can be ten times higher than the species they consume. This process is called bio-magnification. Mercury poisoning happened this way in Minamata, Japan, now called Minamata disease.
Note: What You Need to Know about Mercury in Fish and Shellfish
Good News - Mercury Hair Toxins In 2012
However, there is some good news about hair toxins for 2012. Fox News has reported that The Environmental Protection Agency has just announced that they are implementing a wide range of new limits on a range of environmental pollutants.
Starting in 2012, the amount of mercury which power plants can release into the air would be monitored and limited by the EPA.
Mercury is considered a serious pollutant because it settles into water from the air, where it's transformed into methyl-mercury and then picked up by fish which people ultimately eat.
There is a rising concern that some people may become ill from ingesting neurotoxins after eating fish contaminated with mercury. In some cases, even babies still in the womb may potentially suffer damage.
Mercury which is ingested from food, taken in by the lungs or which settles onto the hair from the air can also migrate to the cortex of the hair causing ongoing challenges.
Fine-particle Pollution Causing Gases
Fine-particle pollution causing gases will also be carefully restricted to minimize their known dangers. Some of the more insidious toxins which will be monitored and restricted by the EPA include arsenic, chromium and nickel.
More than 60 air toxins will be cut by the new EPA restrictions.
Studies have indicated that fine-particle toxins, some only a 30th as wide as a strand of human hair, have been shown to lodge inside the lungs and travel to the heart or other parts of the body. As many as 11,000 deaths and 4,7000 hearts are thought to occur every year as a direct result of inhalation of these various toxins.
By establishing new regulations which reduce these known environmental toxins it's believed that many thousands of premature deaths and thousands of heart attacks will be prevented.
It's also believed that less toxins in the air and water will result in less people being subjected to poisons which can be absorbed into the body and ultimately harm hair, skin and eyes.
The American Lung Association
The American Lung Association (ALA) was pleased with the new EPA regulations since these identified gases and air-borne toxins have been proven to worsen asthma, bronchitis and related chronic lung diseases. They are also known to be carcinogenic.
Even though the EPA and ALA are encouraged by the new protective regulations, the coal industry had harsh criticism for the new environmental rules.
Coal industry leaders expressed concern that there would be a loss of jobs in that sector as a result of the new EPA rulings. They also noted that new regulations would result in rising costs and the fear that electricity may become less dependable as a long term energy source.
It is estimated that more than 400 power plants in at least 40 states over the next year will be impacted. The top 12 percent of the power plants in the country will be required to meet the new EPA regulations designed to eliminate known pollutants, toxins and carcinogens.
Research on the treatment of mercury poisoning is limited. Currently available drugs for acute mercurial poisoning include chelators N-acetyl-D, L-penicillamine (NAP), British Anti-Lewisite (BAL), 2,3-dimercapto-1-propanesulfonic acid (DMPS), and dimercaptosuccinic acid (DMSA).
In one small study including 11 construction workers exposed to elemental mercury, patients were treated with DMSA and NAP. Chelation therapy with both drugs resulted in the mobilization of a small fraction of the total estimated body mercury. DMSA was able to increase the excretion of mercury to a greater extent than NAP.
While the new EPA rulings on environmental toxins for 2012 offer great news for those who suffer from serious and chronic lung conditions, it also will minimize potential damage of toxins to hair and skin.
Ultimately some of the known toxins which plague the hair and scalps of many people will be controlled by new EPA regulations targeting these poisons.
Meanwhile if you eat a lot of fish or seafood and suspect that mercury has settled into your hair you may wish to consult a specialist who can help you work on detoxing the mercury or other toxins from your hair.
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