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article imageAward-winning Actor Jeremy Piven Leaves Show; Mercury Poisoning No Joke

By Carol Forsloff     Dec 18, 2008 in Entertainment
Jeremy Piven, actor is pulling out of Broadway's "Speed-the-Plow because of a bad health condition related to high mercury count.
as Variety reported. David Mamet, “Speed-the-Plow’s" playwright, stated that it was his “understanding that he Piven) is leaving show business to pursue a career as a thermometer." But is that something to joke about?
Mercury poisoning isn’t funny at all. It turns out that mercury poisoning can do a lot of damage to one’s health if the levels in the blood are high enough. Authorities observe that exposure to high levels of elemental mercury through fish consumption can result in nervous system problems that include sensory losses, loss of coordination and numbness or tingling the in the extremities. That’s why pregnant women are warned not to eat high levels of certain kinds of wish because of the risks to the developing fetus. The severity of the symptoms depends upon the amount of exposure.
Sushi is a big culprit for mercury problems. The Environmental Protection Agency maintains that more than six pieces of sushi per week exceeds the standards considered acceptable by that agency. According to the New York Times, laboratory tests found so much mercury in tuna sushi from 20 Manhattan stores and restaurants that at most of them, a regular diet of six pieces a week would exceed the levels considered acceptable by the Environmental Protection Agency.
The American Heart Association lists the type of fish folk can eat and the amounts that can be consumed before toxicity. Whereas the organization highly recommends that fish be eaten twice weekly, it calls upon people to be cautious about the type of fish and the amounts eaten at any one sitting. Older and larger predatory fish are said to have the highest amounts of environmental contaminants. The Association recommends caution concerning eating large amounts of raw tuna..
Piven, now ill with mercury poisoning, was born in 1965 and has been a critically-acclaimed actor, having won three Emmys and a Golden Globe. His best-known role is the character Ari Gold on the HBO television series Entourage. The New York Times reports his health concerns to be real. Piven had complained of exhaustion and been eating some type of fish twice daily. His physician, Dr. Colker said that Piven's condition, left untreated, could result in heart problems, cognitive problems, renal failure and, in very extreme cases, death. Dr. Corker also said that he told Mr. Piven he could continue in the show, but cautiously. “In his case,” Dr. Colker said, “the pure exhaustion could affect his ability to perform. But it was his dream to perform on Broadway, and let’s face it, the show wasn’t a flop.” Piven left the show because his exhaustion was too great for him to continue.
Combine the loss of Piven's presence in "Speed-the-Plow" and the degree of his illness, and the situation isn't funny at all..
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