I’m Getting my Hair Tested

For mercury, that is.  The Sierra Club is holding free mercury testing events throughout the country, but of course there aren’t any around here.  Fortunately they’re also offering testing by mail for a small fee.  All I need to do is send in a small sample of my hair.  (Of course with my hair, no sample is that small…)

The results of the mercury test will be valuable for a few reasons.  As everyone knows, I’m a breastfeeding mom and mercury has been found in human milk.  However, the risks of mercury exposure through nursing are less than the risks associated with NOT breastfeeding, so I’m not really concerned about that.  However, mercury in a mother’s blood can easily cross the placenta and concentrate in a developing fetus, and I do want to have more children someday.  I also love to eat seafood, especially fish that Ed catches, so that’s another reason to get tested.  Once I know my mercury level, I’ll be able to make educated choices about what I eat and future pregnancies.

But I really want to get my hair tested because I’m a science nerd.  I’m excited for the same reasons I loved getting tested for carrier status of common genetic disorders when I was pregnant.  I read about or even teach about these tests, so it’s neat to get them done myself.  I just like to know the results, and I’ll enjoy talking about it with my friends as well as using it as a teachable moment with my students.  It will also give me some data to share when I argue in favor of regulating mercury emissions.

Would you get your hair tested for mercury, or would you prefer not to know?

Cross-posted at Moms Clean Air Force


Filed under parenting, Sustainable Living

12 responses to “I’m Getting my Hair Tested

  1. I would, though any levels would probably not surprise me… and likely would upset me. I’d still be interested to know.

  2. I would love to. I have a mouth full of those nasty old fillings though.

    • I think the mercury can only get in your blood when it’s being filled (or removed).

      • Jen waldrup

        That is not true. Please research amalgam fillings on the web. These fillings contain over 50% mercury. Each filling is the equivalent of one thermometer. The mercury leaches out and is absorbed through your digestive tract. Over 60,000 cases (probably more now) of mercury poisoning have been associated with these fillings. Over time toxic levels are accumulated in your body. The symptoms and the diseases mercury poisoning is associated with are frightening. I have been searching for what could be wrong with me and when I read the symptoms I had checked off over a dozen that are associated with mercury poisoning. I have 9 amalgam fillings from childhood and I am 37 now. I will be getting tested to see what my levels are. I eat fish as well but am more concerned about the fillings. They leach into your body everyday. Do some research and you will be frightens. The sad news is that Dentists know about the toxity of these fillings but continue to use them due to the cost effectiveness. It is similar to the tobacco industry… Eventually enough people will be sickened by the fillings that the dental industry will be held accountable. Good luck and god bless!

  3. Sandy

    At my age (well past childbearing), I don’t think there’s much reason to do it except for intellectual curiosity. If I showed high levels, what could I do about it? Do you know?

  4. Yeah I would kind of like to know. I wonder if mercury has anything to do with my chronic illness.

  5. I’m honestly not sure. I guess it would depend on whether or not I planned to DO anything with the info. If not, and the results could freak me out, then I might just steer clear. I can be a bit anxious, and if I can have one less thing to worry about, why not take it?

  6. So cool Abby!
    I love this idea and I can’t wait to hear your results.

    Yes, I would love to have this done too, and never knew of such a thing. Thanks for pointing this out.

  7. How interesting! I’m on the West Coast so I’m pretty sure I’m fine, although I have several mercury fillings so I’m not sure if there’s much of an impact from them. I was raised in Alaska eating nothing but salmon, trout and of course local meat (moose, bear and other wildlife we won’t go into). It’s pretty cool that the Sierra Club is doing this – and good luck!

  8. Pingback: I’M GETTING MY HAIR TESTED | Moms Clean Air Force

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s