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Fibromyalgia Affecting Ground Zero Rescue Workers



A first responder refers to a person who is first to arrive at the scene of an accident, usually a member of the emergency services. On September 11th 2001, the term took on a whole new meaning when the United States was hit by a devastating terrorist attack in the heart of New York City.


During the chaos of the Twin Towers collapse, hundreds of firefighters, policemen, paramedics and ordinary citizens committed themselves to searching through the rubble, shrapnel and dust in an attempt to find survivors. For many people, the new definition of first responders refers to these men and women who reacted so promptly that day.


Ground Zero Toxins

fibromyalgia in first responders


In the 14 years since 9/11, there have been many reports in the media about the ill health effects suffered by these people on the front line at Ground Zero. Most recently, Marcy Borders, referred to in the media as the ‘9/11 Dust Lady’, died of stomach cancer in August of this year. Borders believed her cancer was caused by exposure to the Ground Zero toxins.  She was 42 when she died.


In 2013, an official study sponsored by the US government, which screened 21,000 World Trade Center rescue and recovery workers, found a 15 percent overall increased risk of cancer. Additional information published alongside the journal, Cancer Incidence in World Trade Center Rescue and Recovery Workers, 2001 2008, states that: “These men and women sustained exposures to a complex mix of toxic chemicals that included multiple known and suspected human carcinogens (Lioy et al. 2002). The combustion of jet fuel at high temperatures released soot, metals, benzene and other volatile organic compounds, and strong inorganic acids.”


The plight of the first responders has gained further traction in the media as a result of the James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act legislation that controls a $2.8 billion fund which was established to compensate and provide healthcare to those exposed to Ground Zero toxins”.


Fibromyalgia and First Responders

One of the lesser publicised conditions affecting a number of 9/11 first responders is fibromyalgia the disease which causes chronic pain, fatigue, cognitive dysfunction, and reduced physical function alongside a number of other secondary symptoms.


Earlier this year, Annmarie Sheldon a retired New York City policewoman, won a five year legal battle to get an enhanced pension and additional benefits because of her fibromyalgia that she developed as a result of being a first responder at Ground Zero. According to Sky News, Sheldon was diagnosed in 2002 with having “toxic levels of heavy metals (cadmium, lead and mercury), fibromyalgia, asthma, chronic fatigue syndrome and acid reflux”. Sheldon ultimately won her case when an appeals court found that “fibromyalgia qualifies as a new onset disease”, meaning that “the burden fell on the city to prove that Sheldon’s condition was not tied to her service at Ground Zero and they said the city failed to do that”.


In recent years there has been a growing belief that metal toxicity is a possible cause of fibromyalgia. A journal published by the US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health found that metal allergy is frequent in fibromyalgia patients.


The journal, Metal-induced inflammation triggers fibromyalgia in metal-allergic patients, found that among the subjects tested, the most frequent negative reactions were to nickel, followed by inorganic mercury, cadmium and lead.


Metal Toxicity in Dental Patients


The illnesses experienced by some of the first responders were born from unprecedented exposure to toxins composed of disintegrated concrete, airplane fuselage, jet fuel and countless other chemicals including high levels of mercury. This group of people had no control over the metal poisoning they were experiencing and in some cases were unaware of it for several years.


In contrast to the incredulous experience that some of the first responders endured to contract fibromyalgia at Ground Zero, many people in Ireland could be suffering from the same disease, as a result of their amalgam fillings.


As I have discussed in a previous blog post, amalgam fillings can play a significant role in the causes of fibromyalgia. Amalgam fillings are often known as mercury fillings. They have been used by dentists for hundreds of years and still today to restore dental cavities. Some dentists still argue that it is the strongest, cheapest and longest-lasting filling available.


Longevity aside, mercury is still a toxic substance and a proven environmental hazard with links to several diseases. Mercury is continuously released from amalgam fillings. Mercury vapour has a direct pathway to the brain. It is inhaled into the lungs, oxidized to ionic mercury and binds to cell proteins.


Hope for Fibromyalgia Sufferers

hope for fibromyalgia sufferers

Although there is no cure for fibromyalgia, the journal entry mentioned earlier in this article concluded its study by finding that the reduction of metal exposure in patients resulted in improved health in the majority of metal-sensitized patients.


This gives hope to those fibromyalgia patients that are suffering as a result of their amalgam fillings, as there are modern, non-toxic replacement fillings available.


By removing these amalgam fillings and replacing them with more modern and safe fillings, you reduce the risk of developing neurological diseases, such as fibromyalgia, and can therefore improve your overall health and wellbeing. On the lead up to an amalgam filling removal procedure and following the extraction of the mercury, there are also a number of ways to assist one’s body for a mercury detox.


If you would like to know more about amalgam filling extraction or if you have any concerns regarding fibromyalgia please contact us on 01 2866394 and talk to qualified holistic dentistry staff today.

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