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Feminist Killjoy. Badly Behaving Bookliker. Writer and reader of all things speculative. 

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The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer
Michelle Hodkin
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Nate Kenyon
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Freda Warrington
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Ann Leckie
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Mercury Poisoning: The Undiagnosed Epidemic - David  Hammond

So I was looking at the giveaways here on Booklikes and stumbled upon this unfortunate piece of tripe by one David Hammond.


It's lunatic fringe conspiracy theory nonsense about the "mercury epidemic" the government is hiding from us (which is kind of hilarious because the real effects of true mercury poisoning are kind of hard to miss). 


I bring it up for two very important reasons. First of all, the blurb tries to claim that mercury poisoning is the cause behind "lupus, Parkinson’s disease, fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue, schizophrenia, colitis, autism, ADHD, bipolar disorder and multiple sclerosis" and this is a lot of hokum. Alt-med gurus love to push this idea, but there's no proof.


In fact, in a case like autism, there have been multiple studies disproving this nonsense. Upwards of 30 studies, in fact. And while anti-vaxxers will still harp on about it, blaming the mercury in a preservative called thimerosal, there are two things you should know about that: 1) thimerosal isn't even in most vaccines given to young children anymore and 2) the mercury in thimerosal is a tiny amount of ethylmercury, which does not bioaccumulate, which is necessary for mercury poisoning.


The idea that any of these other things, most of which have been shown to be genetic, should be somehow caused by mercury poisoning is just as ridiculous. 


But the bigger, more important thing is that this book recommends chelation therapy and even, apparently, gives advice on how to give yourself chelation therapy. Listen to me: Chelation therapy is extremely dangerous and can even be fatal. It is only used in cases of heavy metal poisoning so extreme that the alternative is death anyway. And yet, alt-med gurus will fake positive results on mercury testing on autistic children to trick parents into chelating their children. They will trick parents into putting their child at risk of death for money. 


No OTC chelation treatments are approved by the FDA. Maybe when you're browsing the giveaways here and see this book, you might think it looks like something genuine. But I'm telling you, it's anti-science nonsense that is actively promoting a potentially fatal treatment for a number of issues that have nothing to do with mercury poisoning. Run--don't walk--far away from this book.