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[Help] Toxic Levels of Metals

I am a jeweler who has been having a lot of problems with pain in my
arms and recently a doctor sent off some of my hair to have an analysis
done. The report came back showing toxic levels of silver, gold,
antimony,palladium and lutetium in my system. My doctors approach was to
have me eat large quantities of vitamins and milk thystle to try to get me
detox by nutrition.

Do you have any other suggestions as to what I might do to get this
abundance of metals out of my system. Any suggestions would be very

Thank you in advance, Cathy Holt

G’day Cathy;
My suggestion for what it is worth is to ask a different doctor for
another analysis to be done by a different lab. I find it hard to
understand how “toxic levels” of gold, palladium and lutetium could build
in hair samples. Cheers,

       / \
     /  /
   /  /
 /  /__| \      @John_Burgess2
(______ )       

At sunny Nelson NZ (in mid-winter)

Hello Cathy,

You might also look at the very real possibility that your workroom setup
is causing you neck and back strain. This is a very common problem in
our field.

Been there.
Colleen (fog has lifted, it’s raining this morning. Anyone want to

Hi Kathy:
It could be fumes coming from ultrasonics and pickle, I would
improve on ventilation, of course it is just a case but you need to find
out how you got this inside! Of course drinking lots of dilstilled water
would help, the last thing you need is more minerals in your body, also
look into willards water, suppose to be very good for you. L&H Vitamins
sell is 1800-221-1152 they will send out a free catalogue!
Hope you are better soon!
Kind Regards

Cathy–Has anyone discussed Chelation with you.? I don’t know if it works
for all metals, but it might be something to get more about.
I’m sure you can find alot of info about it on the Alternative Med . sites
on the net. Here are some sites which may be useful.



I hope these work as I haven’t looked at them for some time. It will at
least be a start to getting more Good luck with your search

Cathy - hair analysis as a test for toxic metals poisoning is an old
(70’s) and somewhat contraversial method. There have been several opposing
viewpoints to this method. The main ones citing questionable test results.
I would suggest first having a blood test done by another
physician/hospital and compare the results before you set your sights on a
change of professions, friends or diet. However it’s always good to
improve the quality of your foods and life style.And good ventilation is a
must for survival in our business. Peace. Kim. Breathing in a deep
fog-bank off the San Francisco Bay.

I suspect that your doctor has the right approach, I know that milk
thistle in particular is good for detoxification and will help your body
elimanate the metals. I would hope that your doctor also tested your blood
and not just your hair. If the levels are very high chelation might be
necessary, but I would avoid that if possible.


Hi Cathy. Milk has traditionally been used in the chemicals industry to
flush out unwanted stuff. Whether it is any better than the equivalent
volume of water in most cases is debatable, but it won’t do any harm
(unless you are alergic to it that is). Vitamins supplements are
presumably to replace those that you will flush out along with the
nasties. So, that’s the first aid, but what about the root cause of the

Just how are these metals getting into your system? Do you use plating
solutions, are you breathing in or swallowing grinding or polishing dust,
or have you worked some splinters into you skin? Normal jewellery working
temperatures should not really give rise to problem causing concentrations
of vapours of silver, gold or palladium. Antimony is much more volatile,
but I wonder where it is coming from … some solder I suppose. Did the
tests include looking for cadmium? This is present in many solders, is
very volatile and is known to give rise to aches and pains in the joints.
It is well known to be something to watch out for when using these

Somehow you have got to work out how these metals are getting into your
system, and do something about it. Of course, just because they find
toxic levels of metals in your hair doesn’t necessarily means that that’s
the cause of your arm problem, but it does need sorting out anyway.

If it’s only your arms that are affected, and other parts are OK, could it
be something else? Have you changed you bench or chair height, taken up
silversmithing or perhaps some other cause?

Final question … what is lutetium?


Kevin Eva, Northern England, UK
@Kevin_Eva (home) (work)

This is exactly where I part company with those who believe in
alternative health care… but you asked a specific question of us, and
I’m going to give you a layperson’s opinion:

Please get a second opinion from a medical doctor who will run a series of
blood tests for heavy metal exposure, and check for liver and kidney
function. If you have indeed reached some toxic levels… they are
detectable, and most require short-term but active treatment in a hospital
setting. There are indeed specific treatments available and they are NOT
nutritional supplements! Usually, pain in the arms is not the primary
symptom in toxicity… gastrointestinal complaints, vision problems,
coordination difficulty and even mental confusion would be much more
likely … There is a wide range of other possible reactions and this
isn’t an internet guessing game. It’s serious business…if metals
toxicity is involved.

But it may be something much less drastic, and your doctor may need to
look for something totally unrelated to metals ingestion – to check for
carpal tunnel syndrome, tendinitis, bursitis, arthritis… or something
else altogether. If you have a hospital in your area with an industrial
medicine department, that might be a good place to start.

My husband is an artist, and we’ve kept up on heavy metal exposure info
because of his longterm use of paints that contain cadmium and other
goodies that can be toxic over time. And a blood test is the first
screening tool used. Chemicals and metals aren’t just shunted into your
hair and nails as the alternative hair analysis people claim; there is
enough lingering in the bloodstream to help the diagnosis.

As someone whose carpal tunnel release surgery was too late to prevent
permanent nerve damage… I urge you to check it out. If it is carpal
tunnel syndrome and diagnosed early on, it can be successfully treated…
and perhaps you can even avoid surgery by some minor changes in work
habits and environment.

Getting off my soapbox and back to lurking quietly, but wishing you

| Carol J. Bova @Carol_J_Bova |
| Publisher of The Eclectic Lapidary e-zine |
| |

some of my hair to have an analysis done. The report came back
showing toxic levels of silver, gold, antimony, palladium and lutetium
in my system

While this analysis showed that your hair has toxic levels of the
above, perhaps these elements are not in your system. Remember that if
these elements are in your system, the only time they could get in your
hair is at the time they were ingested ( present in the blood ) since
there is no circulation in the hair. These levels could be present from
grinding dust imbedded in the hair, since the make-up of the toxins could
approximate grinding dust.

I would advise further testing to determine the cause of the test

Wow. that’s really scary! How long have you been working with metals,
and what precautions did you take?

Your doctor has a good start, but IMHO, you need a stronger detox program.
There are vitamins, supplements, herbs to help detox. Also, you can
radically simplify your diet, nothing but steamed vegetables, tea, brown
rice, for the set period of time. Sorry I can’t be more specific, when I
need this stuff, I got to a relative who knows all this. I would say to
read up on it, or to see a holistic doctor, a chiropractor… And I would
also recommend “Women’s Bodies, Women’s Wisdom” by Dr. Christiane
Northrup, it’s about health and creating wellness, it could be a great
comfort to you in this time of healing. Best of luck.

Chicago, Illinois
Great Lakes
Hot. 90 degrees and the electric co. is asking us to turn down the AC!

If the levels are very high chelation might be
necessary, but I would avoid that if possible.

“Chelation therapy is a series of intravenous infusions
containing EDTA and various other substances.
Proponents claim chelation therapy is effective against
atherosclerosis and many other serious health problems.
Its use is widespread because patients have been led to
believe that it is a valid alternative to established
medical interventions such as coronary bypass surgery.
However, there is no scientific evidence that this is
so. It is also used to treat nonexistent “lead
poisoning”, “mercury poisoning”, and other alleged
toxic states that practitioners diagnose with tests on
blood, urine, and/or hair.”

This above is from
Hope it helps
B r i a n � A d a m J e w e l l e r y E y e w e a r �
@Brian_Adam1 ph/fx +64 9 817 6816 NEW ZEALAND

Now that I’ve looked lutetium up in my dictionary,
where are you getting into this rare-earth metallic
element. (Lutetia, Latin name for Paris, at. no. 71,
at. wt. 174.97, symbol Lu).

My old chemistry book ignors it. I called the library.
The reference librarian says it is the rarest of
the rare earths as kind of an impervious metal.
The librarian does say it is studied because it has
interesting magnetic properties.
In the US it may be found in certain sands in

How was this ever diagnosed as being
in your system?


In your lungs YES ! in your hair No!!
I’ve told my wife and family that when I die, they are to have my lungs
removed. It will pay for one hell of a funeral. But in the hair it aint!!

Just my two cents!
Matt the Catt @ Contemporary Industrial Arts

My 2 cents-

The concept of gold poisoning is a curious one. Gold is used
therapeutically in treating rheumatoid arthritis, however, it is
administered in the form of a gold compound such as gold sodium
thioglucose for the simple reason that it is really, really difficult to
assimilate gold in it’s metallic form. Consider; our guts secrete dilute
hydrochloric acid, but it takes aqua regia to disolve gold. Back in the
’70s, gold therapy was administered by a technique similar to
electroplating- the patient placed a hand in a solution of gold compound,
and one electrode was connected to the patient, while the other was
connected to the solution. Again, this was due to the fact that gold is
not easily assimilated. I would highly recommend further testing from
another medical provider before embarking on a course of treatment.