Severe Mercury Poisoning Aboard HMS Triumph: Dr.Cline takes a look back in history

Mercury: A Heavy Metal

Our health today is threatened by the highest levels of toxic carcinogens and poisons the human race has ever been exposed to. There are more chemicals, pesticides and other dangerous substances such as mercury in the food chain than ever before.

'Detoxify for life' is a medical book written by a practicing doctor for patients about the influence of toxic substances such as mercury on men's and women's health, and how toxicity affects critical organs like the heart, liver and kidneys.

This book gives hope to people who have been suffering from debilitating pain, allergies and illnesses such as fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue syndrome that seemingly have no cure.

Dr. Cline demonstrates, through the use of case studies, how the body can be cleansed and arterial health restored by treatments such as chelation therapy in conjunction with diet and nutrition changes.

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Written in a clear, concise style without using a lot of obscure medical terminology, this book explores the harmful effects and effective treatment of cellular damage caused by toxic substances, including pesticides and heavy metals, such as lead, mercury and arsenic.

There are many clear illustrations to assist you, and all medical facts are carefully supported by an extensively researched bibliographical reference.

A Look Back in History: HMS Triumph

medical documentation from the book - Detoxify For LifeIn order to illustrate the devastatingly lethal effects of heavy metal poisoning, let us for a moment look back to the year 1810.

At that time, mercury was a valuable commodity, and large amounts were used to purify gold and silver ores. Mercury was also used in industries such as gilding, plating, mirror making, and hat manufacturing, and was prescribed for the treatment of infectious diseases such as syphilis. Spain had virtual control of the mercury market because cinnabar (mercury sulfide) mines were plentiful in Spain as well as in Spanish America. The cinnabar was smelted and made into what was then called "quicksilver" -- what we know today as liquid mercury or elemental mercury.

In 1810, Britain, Spain, and Portugal formed an alliance against Napoleon Bonaparte’s armies as the French were attempting to gain control of Spain, partly to ensure naval access to the Mediterranean and the Atlantic. On March 4, 1810, a hurricane hit the Spanish port of Cadiz and the flood surge that followed stranded many Spanish ships close to the French-controlled shore. One of the stranded ships, La Purisima Concepcion, had in its hold a very large shipment of quicksilver originating in South America.

During several nights, British sailors in longboats were able to remove 130 tons of the liquid mercury, which they placed aboard two ships: HMS Triumph and HMS Phipps. The mercury was stored in large leather bladders, which were placed in iron-hooped strongboxes on the lowest deck of each vessel. Unfortunately, the leather eroded and many tons of mercury flooded through the holds of the two ships. Because mercury was such a precious commodity, many enterprising sailors concealed as much of it as they could.

Over the following weeks, 200 of the 650 men on board the Triumph presented with symptoms and signs of mercury toxicity. These included copious salivation, oral ulcers, partial paralysis, tremors, pulmonary congestion, various bowel complaints, skin eruptions, gum problems and loss of teeth. The ship’s surgeon and purser were among the most severely affected because they bunked beside the mercury storage area. Three men succumbed from pulmonary disease and two from facial gangrene. All the animals on the ship died.

The Triumph was thoroughly cleaned several times, and 8000 pounds of mercury-contaminated biscuits were thrown out. Even so, a fine metallic powder continued to accumulate, and on the ship’s next voyage in June 1810, 44 sailors became seriously ill. Ship’s surgeon, Henry Plowman, correctly deduced that mercuric vapors were affecting the crew. He ordered increased ventilation to the lower deck and no further cases of mercury poisoning occurred; nevertheless, the ship never sailed again. An eyewitness to these distressing events draws a straightforward conclusion: "Conversing with several officers of the British Navy on the subject, I was induced to believe that the accident proceeded altogether from the ignorance of all those concerned.” From the outset, ignorance about the effects of mercury and its vapor were indeed chiefly to blame for the catastrophe.

This historical event illustrates how seriously health can be altered and even destroyed because of toxic exposure. Of course, most people who come to my clinic have not had such a severe and acute exposure as the sailors on board the Triumph. Nonetheless, the vast majority have had ongoing, low-level exposure to toxic substances, and, over many years, such exposure can produce results not dissimilar to those experienced by the unfortunate sailors.

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