The Crucial Do’s And Don’ts Of Heavy Metal Testing And Metal Detoxification.

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Biohacking, Podcast

Heavy metals are no joke (and despite popular belief, they’re not invisible, woo-woo compounds that only biohackers worry about). In a recent Molecular, Clinical and Environmental Toxicology journal article Heavy Metals Toxicity and the Environment, the authors report that:

“Heavy metals are naturally occurring elements that have a high atomic weight and a density at least 5 times greater than that of water. Their multiple industrial, domestic, agricultural, medical and technological applications have led to their wide distribution in the environment; raising concerns over their potential effects on human health and the environment. Their toxicity depends on several factors including the dose, route of exposure, and chemical species, as well as the age, gender, genetics, and nutritional status of exposed individuals. Because of their high degree of toxicity, arsenic, cadmium, chromium, lead, and mercury rank among the priority metals that are of public health significance. These metallic elements are considered systemic toxicants that are known to induce multiple organ damage, even at lower levels of exposure. They are also classified as human carcinogens (known or probable) according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, and the International Agency for Research on Cancer. This review provides an analysis of their environmental occurrence, production and use, potential for human exposure, and molecular mechanisms of toxicity, genotoxicity, and carcinogenicity.”

Since it’s been a little while since we’ve visited the topic of heavy metals, and since I’ve personally found everything from high levels of bacterial iron to manganese in my own well water, I figured I’d bring on an expert doc when it comes to the topic of heavy metal testing and chelation.

My guest, Dr. Greg Mongeon is a wellness physician who has been providing healthcare services for more than a decade. He’s an Ironman triathlete, team doc for CompetitiveCyclist, and incredibly proficient at diagnosing the hidden root cause of numerous health challenges by utilizing cutting-edge diagnostic approaches with research-based laboratory analysis.

During our discussion, Dr. Greg and I talk about…

-The urine heavy metal test kit Dr. Greg sent me, and how I’m supposed to be using it..

-How you test for heavy metals, and the important difference between provoked and non-provoked testing…


-What chelation is and what products are used to chelate, including the warnings about DMSA…

-Who should be concerned about heavy metal toxicity…

-Why heavy metal testing is NOT for everyone…

-How long it takes to properly chelate heavy metals…

-Why IV Chelation can be dangerous…

-If it’s safe to chelate if you have silver fillings in your mouth…

-And much more!

Resources we discuss in this episode:

-If you want Dr. Greg to walk you through your own heavy metal testing, then visit DrMongeon.com. An initial evaluation is normally $395, but if you enter code “Ben100”, you will receive $100 off your evaluation.

-The heavy metal chelation spray called MetalFree.

iaomt.org for biological dentistry.

-The NatureBeat heart rate variability (HRV) app.

-Here’s what a sample urine toxic metals report looks like:

Sample Report UT

Do you have questions, comments or feedback about heavy metal testing and heavy metal detoxification? Leave your thoughts below and Dr. Greg or I will reply!


Also published on Medium.


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52 thoughts on “The Crucial Do’s And Don’ts Of Heavy Metal Testing And Metal Detoxification.

  1. jk says:

    Ben, You need to read up on Andrew Cutlers protocol for heavy metals. He STRONGLY advises AGAINST urine provocation tests for heavy metals as it will actually cause redistribution of the metals into other organs. He uses a hair analysis test along with a blood test to ascertain heavy metal exposure. the metals can actually. cause derangement of other minerals and the. results of the tests can be misleading to the untrained person reading them. Cutler developed a protocol that does 24 hr chelation for a few days at very low doses based on the halflife of the. chelators to minimize redistribution. You are doing a disservice to you readers by. suggesting a urine provocation test. He actually has a facebook group that continues with his. protocol and helps others in learnnnning how to follow the. protocol. There aren’t any referral fees, so promoting this. protocol won’t provide any income stream to you. I don’t know if you get a “referral fee” for anyone that works with Dr. Mongeon by using your discount code, but in the best interest of. your readers you should. provide them with the knowledge of a better way to chelate

    1. OK, I will check it out.

  2. kate says:

    Why does the urine test for heavy metals not show copper?

  3. Michele says:

    Fantastic interview!! Very informative and extremely helpful! Thank you! Btw, the link for Dr. Greg is broken.

    1. Thanks for the heads up.

  4. Cheryl says:

    Ben:

    I am a 61 yr old female that has Cobalt and Chrome Rods placed in my back in April 2015 from T9-Illium that broke (Aug-Nov 2016) after 18 months. These rods were replace in January 2017. I also had Total Hip Replacement Surgery in Aug. 2015 then found out in Dec 2016 that part of the implant was defective and on recall. In Jan 2017 my Hip surgeon ordered a bone scan and blood tests for Cobalt and Chrome. Test results on the blood came back at 2.8 for Cobalt and .2 for Chrome and the bone scan showed fluid in the cup of hip implant. I was having lots of leg and groin pain 16 months after the implant. Also experiencing a metallic taste in my mouth, scalp issues developed in 2015 and 2016 which were diagnosed as dandruff and not going away with treatment. After the Cobalt and Chrome Rods in my back were replaced in Jan 2017, three months later my hip surgeon ordered another Cobalt and Chrome Blood test. The levels came back higher, Cobalt at 4.6 and Chrome at 1.3. I had a hip revision surgery to remove the implant from the cup liner down and it was replaced. Another blood test will be done the end of July 2017. I still have the scalp issues, and metallic taste in my mouth. The hip implants were titanium and ceramic, the back implants are cobalt/chrome rods, with titanium screws and disk spacers. I am considering having a heavy metal toxicity blood, urine and hair analysis test performed within the next week or two to determine actual levels and whether there are other heavy metals such as titanium present. Your thoughts on whether the rods from the back caused the cobalt/chrome or the hip implant. My hip doctor believes the hip implant did since the levels went up after the broken rods were replaced. When he removed the old implant, he stated the accumulated fluid in the cup area looked like motor oil. The manufacture recall on the hip implant is for metal on metal and my implant was ceramic head on a titanium stem/femur implant with a titanium cup. What type of metal toxicity testing would be best performed? Should I wait a little longer to have the tests performed? Thank you for your time and input.

    1. Hey Cheryl,

      Firstly, I am not a doctor and nothing I say should be taken as medical advice. Please talk to your physician about this. I'd suggest you check this out: https://bengreenfieldfitness.com/2016/08/what-is-… and if you want to go into detail, feel free to book a consult. You can do this by going to <a href="http://www.greenfieldfitnesssystems.com/ben” target=”_blank”>www.greenfieldfitnesssystems.com/ben and choosing 20 or 60 minutes and we'll get you scheduled to go into detail there.

  5. nancy aubrey says:

    I am curious about testing for chronic arsenic poisoning? How would one check for arsenic in a product like a powder? Is there some “bathtub chemistry homemade test”; for someone not able to afford lab tests and such? Oh, a comment on root canals; I worked in Dentistry for 25 years and also for an Endodontist. Once upon a time we used silver points in root canals; not good! So by the mid-eighties we started using gutta percha, a rubber product, this is also used in golf balls, for you golfers out there…

  6. Jaime says:

    Great podcast, thank you! I’m looking to be tested for heavy metals as I had several vaccines about 4 years ago before a trip to Nepal and I haven’t felt right ever since. Do you recommend this testing if you have had vaccines? You didn’t mention them…curious. thank you!

  7. Laurie Boggs says:

    Unfortunately, 18 years ago I was hit head on by an uninsured drunk driver. Five people were killed including my only child. I barely made it alive. I had multiple injuries which left me with shattered teeth and legs. At the time, I had 10 root canals to save my teeth, and titanium rods and screws in my legs. In addition I was chemically injured by Western Medicine, from a systemic yeast infection that almost killed me due to an over does of antibiotics. I have spent thousands of dollars and I am chasing my tail. The chemical sensitivities is beyond pain and suffering I am now in misery and hell. Now I have Lichen planus in my mouth and vagina. I am very frustrated, afraid and I have nowhere to turn. In addition I am on disability, due to the circumstance. I went to a doctor and she wanted me to do a – Heavy Metal Test: Doctor Data Red Blood Cells which meant I need to ingest DMSA right away I said No. I am hyper, hyper, hyper sensitive and anything puts me over. What do you suggest? If I went to a Western Medicine Doctor for insurance purposes what kind of doctor would I go to? In addition what questions would I ask them so I can be a smart consumer? What lab they use? Do they understand Chemical Sensitives? Heavy Metal poisoning? What kind of tests should I ask them moving forward? I am in overwhelm. However I am very sustained because of the energy work I do on myself or I would be dead my now. I am needing to spend my money wisely whatever can be covered by insurance is helpful Thank you for all that you do. Looking forward to hearing from you.

    1. There are a lot of moving parts here that I need more details on. I'd be happy to help you via a personal one-on-one consult. Just go to http://greenfieldfitnesssystems.com/product/ben-g… and then choose a 20 or 60 minute consult, whichever you'd prefer. I can schedule ASAP after you get that.

  8. valerie says:

    HI Ben, I am a 64 year old woman. Had leaky gut at one time but that has healed – do have GI issues – not major concerns – Colonoscopy and endoscopy good. My naturalpath doctor ran a lot of blood tests – higher cholesterol but everything else checked out. He recommended Doctor’s Data urine test for heavy metals – I did that and took 4 DMSA pills prior to the 6 hour catch. I do not do well with any medications for some reason so do not take any prescription or a lot of supplements. After taking the pills things were fine until that night and then felt some electrical like humming in my left foot and now within the last 5 days I have been experiencing pins and needles all over my body, very sharp pains just under my left rib cage, burning sharp pains at the back of my neck, part of my tooth fell out the second day – it did have a mercury filling in it, experiencing insomnia – it seems B12 and folic acid (I take it under my tongue) seems to help a little – going back to the doctor in 2 days. His office and the doctor say that the DMSA pills are completely safe. Though I have a lot of systems with my the health have not been diagnosisted with anything except for gastritis was has resolved I have never had these symptoms. I know they are related to taking the DMSA pills – do you know what is happening?

    1. DMSA is not a safe drug in a person who has an overloaded liver from gut bacteria, parasites, high environmental toxin load, nutritional deficiencies, etc. It sounds like your liver is already in overwhelm. Then when you add DMSA it forces mercury and other heavy metals out of stored areas in the body and into the blood. When they get to the liver they can't be handled and so can get deposited in other less "desirable" places. All of the new symptoms that you have are due to this movement of heavy metals to other places and the body's reaction to them there with inflammation. I recommend you find a physician who can help you with this new toxic reaction. The wrong thing to do is more heavy metal detox. The treatment must be to get her liver and gut working, correct deficiencies and calm the inflammation.
      There is lots more on this but this is the basic point.

  9. Harry Alton Phillips says:

    I’ve read that urine testing is not necessarily accurate because it doesn’t give you information of metals in your body fat. I’m 67,have worked around many metals,have tooth fillings 53 plus years old. I’m having depression,anxiety and some muscle jerking( primarily cervicl) exactly which tests should I consider?

    1. I would suggest you see a functional medicine doctor who is an expert in heavy metal detoxification. Go to <a href="http://www.acam.org” target=”_blank”>www.acam.org for doctor.
      With neurological symptoms the detox has to be done carefully or it can worsen the situation. The doctor will make sure you are able to detox the metals (you has good intestinal function, liver function, good mineral and hormone balance) before anything else is done. I do not recommend a home "do it yourself" program for you.

  10. Camila says:

    Hi My daughter has 2 silver fillings and a crown. She has received all vaccines and now has some really bad skin issues. I want to take her to a Funcional Medicine doctor to do the HM testing because I believe she has Alluminium toxicity. Can the test be done with the silver fillings in her mouth? Or do they absolutely need to be removed before testing?

  11. Sarah says:

    Hi! I have 3 children all younger than 13 and about 18 months apart. My middle child has Asperger’s and sees several different doctors. Since her younger brother, 9 yo, just wasn’t himself for the longest time, I had him seen and tested. He was found to have yeast overgrowth (stool analysis) and urine OAT test came back extremely abnormal, pointing towards a possible heavy metal burden. We are scheduled to have the provoked (via IV) urine toxic metal test. We’ve moved several times, but all of us have lived together. Is it possible for one child to have this and not the others? Thank you for your time!!!!

    1. Hi Sarah, here's a response from Dr Minkoff: Yes it is possible. They have different detox rates and that may account for it. Be careful with the heavy metal challenge, make sure that the gut is healed first and that there are no amino acid, vitamin or mineral or fatty acid deficiencies. Have the doctor do a pediatric ion panel from genova labs.

      Hope this helps

  12. Tina says:

    Where do I go in Arkansas to get help?

    I can’t find anyone who understands this let alone diagnosis heavy metal poisoning!

    I know I have a mercury level of 4ng.from a blood test but it’s been left at that!

    1. I would check this out and let me know if you have any questions: https://bengreenfieldfitness.com/2016/08/what-is-…

  13. Joyce Dahlberg says:

    Will be tested for toxic elements without a challenge agent. What is it’s value? Reason I am in the 10th month of Lyme treatment taking many antibiotics. After a few weeks of forcing my body to 104 and higher temp several times per week (hot bath and sauna) I started to sweat profusely (especially night time) causing poor sleep. Also sweating a lot in day time. Since stopping this practice I still have all but not as significant. Continue to feel cold (especially upper arms and some lower legs). When I put a heating pad on those areas I also sweat fairly quickly. Also have pins and needles in my hands and feet and my right hand falls asleep also. Some weird sensations on mostly my face (occasionally) other areas also. Finally ongoing left sore middle and lower back. (at times comes and go)

    1. Joyce, can you repeat the question? I'm not exactly sure what you are asking?

  14. Ellen says:

    Hello

    What is the best way to ask your doctor for a metal toxin test? I have been suffering for over 2 years with many symptoms which doctors just say I’m making it up…

    Also can heavy metal toxins cause poor circulation and extreme weight gain/ water retention?

    1. Maybe it is time to seek out a new doctor? Or find another doctor to test you if you want to keep your old one?

  15. hassan says:

    Hi Ben,

    A consultation for all my questions is pending. You are the guy 20-30 years ahead of me. Hoping to continue learning, experimenting and finding things that work for me that you already tackled. My question..

    Tooth fillings. What can I change them into that won’t continue leeching metallic toxins in to my teeth?

    I’m serious going through all your podcasts and working through myself day by day

    Thank you for everything. I’m even laughing at your jokes haha.

    1. Hey Hassan, start here: https://bengreenfieldfitness.com/2012/12/heavy-me… and let me know if you have any questions.

  16. Charlotte says:

    Hi Ben I have a heavy mental test to do .little concern has I do have silver fillings .I have Appointment with a naturopathic dentist .Should I want until I have them remove ?

    1. Dr. Sheila Saltzman says:

      Hi Charlotte-

      I hope you have not yet tried to remove your fillings. A Biological dentist is certainly the right person to go to for this procedure, because they do so safely and will replace the filling with a biologically compatible material.

      However– removal of amalgams is not recommended unless you are already having issues with the teeth.

      I am a Functional Medicine practitioner myself. When I started studying functional medicine, I thought it would be best to remove my amalgams too. There are dangers with this however. The tooth may be sensitive to the procedure (especially if this is an old filling or large filling). With my own tooth, the nerve actually became inflamed and died, causing a painful abscess and ultimately a root canal (which then carries it’s own risks).

      In addition to this, if you have any underlying co-infections (such as an undiagnosed oral bacterial issue or Lyme disease), this might cause more problems following the removal of the filling. Bacteria (Lyme for example), like areas with Mercury because the metals lower your immune system and make it easy for the bacteria to thrive. Long story short, removal of the filling will “stir up” their environment and may exacerbate something that might have been laying comfortably dormant. Your teeth are a direct line into your blood stream.

      You do not want to “stir the pot” so to speak unless you know what is lurking underneath. If you have a healthy immune system and plan to seek out the right professional to remove them, you might be okay– but again, not advised unless the teeth are giving you problems and removal of the fillings is necessary.

      I hope this helps.

  17. Nathalie says:

    It looks like the heavy metal testing is $795 vs $395. The price doubled since your podcast…

    1. I don't control the prices of other people's products unfortunately, but I would suggest you also check this one out if you are interested in detoxing: https://bengreenfieldfitness.com/2016/08/what-is-…

  18. Lorraine Cullum says:

    I would like to enquire if you know of any professionals in the United Kingdom who could test me for heavy metals and to remove them from my body

  19. Jennifer says:

    I would love it if you also interviewed Chris Shade that designed quicksilver testing. He is also a mercery expert.

  20. johnr801 says:

    Hi Ben,

    Any studies/thoughts as to whether or not heavy metals would be a cause of high blood pressure? I’ve lost weight, meditated (still doing TM), taken magnesium, and even went on meds (2 types) a couple a months each (which I stopped with Doc’s OK), and nothing so far has worked. I was a frequent fish eater (still am, but switch more to grass fed beef) , so perhaps my mercury levels are high. I don’t have any other symptoms, except high blood pressure, i.e., usually around 145 over 85. Thanks John R.

    1. Yes, absolutely could be. If you want to go into detail I suggest booking a consult at <a href="http://www.greenfieldfitnesssystems.com/ben” target=”_blank”>www.greenfieldfitnesssystems.com/ben and we'll get you scheduled.

  21. George Droney says:

    Hello
    My doctor told me to take 2 Chelex capsules and then urinate into a container he gave me. He told me to urinate each time for one day into it. Is this a good way to test for aluminum in a persons body or not? Thanks for any help.

  22. Kari says:

    Hi,

    I have been trying to heal leaky gut for almost 3 years now. I am constantly dealing with reactions, feeling cold, having dis colored skin, allergies, the list goes on and on. I’ve followed the ALCAT & MRT diets according to my results, by my sensitivities constantly change. I keep thinking about the reaction. I had to multiple vaccines in high school. I had major hives that I had to get steroids for. The nurse told me that t was most likely a reaction to a metal additive in the shots. Am I right to assume that I may have metal toxicity that has caused leaky gut?

    Thanks!

  23. Bon says:

    How about the fraudulent hardware implant in california? Could you test for that and get a clue?

    1. Yes, you could use this test for that, as those metals would wind up in your blood.

  24. graham hitchen says:

    from what I have read dmsa does not work for a lot of people and for many of these dmps is far more effective-however it is also far riskier so one would have to read lots and then make your own judgement.A lot of people say sauna does a similar job as dmsa without the risks but a lot of sick people also find saunas hard on their bodies also and to be careful to start at low times(15-20 minutes )and increase slowly as one improves.Near infrared sauna is meant to be the best and easiest to do but I know from experience it’s also tough on the body even though I admit it has improved my pain-it is cheap to make your own infrared sauna with infrared bulbs from some hardware stores and the sockets with wires from ebay but I think for people like me who feel worse from saunas it is best to do when the weather is reasonably cool.I can only tell you from my experience -I am no expert but I really don’t think anyone is though they may think so.Good luck-

  25. nancy says:

    I used the doctors data before but was told by criss shade to use his quicksilver ( which i did) the holistic girl that was ordering my protocol never explained the test except to say i was over the top. I felt left out to dry. I am due for another test after the three month criss shade protocol, at a loss as to what to do. I hurt all over and can’t touch the floor or my head. total pain and I am the picture of health. I do everything right. Is the mercury attacking my muscles? I am scared.

    1. Nancy I'm not a doctor and anything I say should not be taken as medical advice. It's hard to say what's going on, but if you want to go into detail, book a consult at greenfieldfitnesssystems.com/ben and choose 20 mins and we'll go over everything

  26. cfh1215 says:

    Everyone talks about how dangerous it is to chelate with amalgams, then they say remove them but not if you are immune suppressed…BUT to fix the immune system you have to get rid of the amalgams…I mean this is all grey info but its a HUGE circle. Then we get told removing amalgams can make heavy metal worse…….BUT don't leave them IN. So what is the world do we do if we have amalgams AND an immune system issue like thyroid disease? Do we take our teeth OUT totally? This was a great podcast but still no real answers for people with multiple issues going on. :(

  27. Kate says:

    Perfect timing!!! I had my provoked test done a couple says before this was released! My results look similar to the one above! I’m curious if Mercury at 33, lead at 12 and Aluminum at 110 would require major chelation. My ND acted like those were really high, but I also know chelation is big business! Also any known source of thallium? Mine is really high and I’ve never done a cardio stress test with nuclear whatever! Thanks !

    1. From Dr. Greg: I would agree with you ND in stating that those levels are high. Thallium can be found in ground water and is prominent in areas that may have ore mining. As for chelation being "big business" it is actually one of the cheaper nutritional protocols that one can use. The value that is worthwhile is to have someone coach you through the proper cycling of chelation agents and the answering of questions that come along with that process. Best of luck! Dr. Mongeon

  28. Did Sidney says:

    Lead in my water pipes. Will a water filer filter this out? Or should I go back to drinking water from plastic bottles?

    1. We covered that pretty thoroughly in this podcast https://bengreenfieldfitness.com/2013/08/how-t… you should check it out and also look at a charcoal water filter like these http://www.amazon.com/s/?_encoding=UTF8&camp=… Also check out this episode about plastic bottles https://bengreenfieldfitness.com/2014/11/episo…

  29. optimumpremonit says:

    Hi Ben or Dr. Greg, I was wondering if you could briefly help me. I am 20 years old and suffer from extreme fibromyalgia and nervous system problems after taking a drug called accutane. I've spent thousands of dollars on tests and haven't found out why I continue to degrade. It has now been 2 years since I last took the drug.

    I listened to the hair mineral analysis podcast and this one and had both tests done. Nothing was extremely elevated in the hair mineral analysis. I just had the 6 hour provoked urine test done a couple days ago with 1300mg DMSA by doctor's data (I'm a 135lb male). These are my results: http://gyazo.com/411a6123059bcf47b7d9b5a315b11bb9
    They (DMSAchelation.com) say I have "very high" levels of heavy metals and that they have no doubt that that is what is causing my illness. They highly encourage a chelation protocol with DMSA. However, according to the results, all of the heavy metals are in the reference range.

    I would think for the heavy metals to be causing my MAJOR illness, they would have to be pretty high. I'm just trying to find the root cause of my illness. I don't have much money left and I don't want to use it on a DMSA chelation protocol if it doesn't fix the root cause. I'm thinking the dmsachelation.com people are just trying to encourage me to do the chelation because they get payed for it.

    If you could give just a brief sentence or two on if you think reference range levels of heavy metals could absolutely destroy your health, I would greatly appreciate it. Any feedback at all is nice. Thanks for all of the knowledge that you share – Alan

    1. I would definitely encourage you to get Dr. Greg to walk you through your own heavy metal testing – visit DrMongeon.com. Use code “Ben100″ to receive $100 off your evaluation.

    2. James says:

      Hi Alan, you are not alone buddy. I took accutane at the highest possible dose for three periods. It has had a dramatic effect on my health, I suffer from many chronic fatique issues, both mental and physical. It has taken a toll on my life over the past 25 years since I took the last course of accutane. I also had severe Epstein Barr Virus infection the year before my first course of accutane and had exposure to organophosphates from time on a farm as a child. So feel that all of these had had an impact. So I don’t think any one of them was the single root cause. I am STILL searching for the right protocol to improve my health… Like you $$$ are an issue, my health has impacted my earning ability. Hope you have made some progress since your post! Stay strong and positive as best you can.

  30. cookecc says:

    OMG! Ben, where you guys 10 years ago? In my quest for optimal health I bought into all the cleansing and detoxing fads. After my first cleanse, I promptly developed severe insomnia, muscle weakness, hangovers without alcohol, adrenal issues, hormonal issues etc. I then had a provoked heavy metals test and my mercury levels were literally 'off the charts'. (over 284) I had the amalgams removed and chelated for over 2 years to get my levels down. No one told me not keep 'cleansing' so I continued to do so b/c I thought it was a good idea. Of course, I continued to get worse. Though my levels were 'normal' I believe the mercury was still hidden deep in the tissues. I did a group cleanse about 3 years ago with a castor oil purge on the last day. Since then my muscles are like jello. No more biking, no lifting, no running, no hiking. Only then did I make the connection. And far too late as I think this may be permanent damage. I really hope people take this information seriously. It is no joke. I just desperately wish there was a way to recover…

  31. Fayaz says:

    Hi Ben, great emails: regular and excellent content and interviews.

    Please can you help with UK-based companies that offer metal detox services: blood/urine/hair tests,, etc to see how bad the levels are currently, products and advice on reducing levels and then a post-program test to see improvement hopefully!

    God bless and keep it up!

    Fayaz

    1. I would start by checking in with my friend Dr Tamsin Lewis over at http://www.curoseven.com/

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