By Dr. Larry Rosen
It's too crazy not to be true. The state of Minnesota proudly announced this week it has passed legislation to ban mercury in makeup, while a bill to ban thimerosal (ethyl mercury) in children's vaccines in the same states lies in limbo.
According to THIS AP report: "The quest for thicker lashes and defined eyes should get safer in Minnesota on Jan. 1, when a state law banning mercury from mascara, eye liners and skin-lightening creams takes effect. Minnesota apparently is the first state in the nation to ban intentionally added mercury in cosmetics, giving it a tougher standard than the federal government."
The arguments used to ban trace amounts of mercury in cosmetics? "Mercury does cause neurological damage to people even in tiny quantities," said Sen. John Marty, the Democrat from Roseville who sponsored the ban. "Every source of mercury adds to it. We wanted to make sure it wasn't here."
Hmmm ... that sounds vaguely familiar. Where have we heard that? Oh, that's right - it's what we've been saying for years about mercury in kids' vaccines; and some (most of the current flu vaccine supply for example) contain much more than "tiny quantities."
Is there something special about the type or amount of mercury in cosmetics that makes it more crucial to ban versus a biological product injected into babies and children?
According to Carl Herbrandson, a toxicologist with the state Health Department quoted in the AP story, "Mercury is bad, basically in all forms that get into the body."
You could vomit from the hypocrisy.
Dr. Rosen is a pediatrician in Northern New Jersey and medical adviser to the Deidre Imus Environmental Center. He blogs at www.thewholechild.us, where this article first appeared.