Dangers of Dental Mercury – Still Ignored by the FDA despite Recent Warnings
“Exposure to mercury can have serious health consequences,” says Charles Lee, M.D., a senior medical advisor at FDA. “It can damage the kidneys and the nervous system, and interfere with the development of the brain in unborn children and very young children.”
In its ongoing effort to protect the American public from exposure to dangerous levels of mercury, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recently issued an updated warning about skin care products, which may contain mercury, specifically anti-aging, skin-lightening beauty lotions and creams. These products are manufactured primarily in other countries and sold illegally in the States—often in ethnic shops and neighborhoods, and made available to consumers online. Studies on the subject of mercury in beauty products observed by the FDA showed that some of the tainted creams have been found to contain mercury levels up to 131,000 times the acceptable limit of mercury.
You don’t have to use the product yourself to be affected, says FDA toxicologist Mike Bolger, Ph.D. “People—particularly children—can get mercury in their bodies from breathing in mercury vapors if a member of the household uses a skin cream containing mercury.” Infants and small children can ingest mercury if they touch their parents who have used these products, get cream on their hands and then put their hands and fingers into their mouth, which they are prone to do, adds Bolger. From this statement it appears that the FDA is becoming more and more informed on the very real dangers mercury poses to the human body. Now, we have to wonder when the FDA will come around to recognizing the same level of danger posed to patients undergoing dental treatments that result in the use of silver amalgams containing seriously high levels of mercury.
The Evidence is Glaring
It isn’t a matter of the FDA not being informed on the scientific evidence behind the danger of dental amalgams; it’s more a matter of their persistence to ignore the facts. The International Academy of Biological Dentistry and Medicine (IABDM), the International Academy of Oral Medicine and Toxicology (IAOMT) as well as the Holistic Dental Association (HDA) all acknowledge critical scientific studies stubbornly overlooked by the FDA, American Dental Association (ADA) and other upholders of the status quo.
The Scientific Advisory Board of the IAOMT stated in a report, aimed at informing and advising the FDA, (authored by noted scientists Boyd Haley, Thomas Burbacher, Louis Chang among others); “Chronic exposure to mercury, even in minute amounts, is known to be toxic and poses significant risks to human health. Current scientific evidence clearly demonstrates that dental amalgam unnecessarily exposes dental patients to substantial amounts of mercury vapor, particulates and other forms and is therefore not a suitable material for dental restoration.”
Furthermore, “It is incompatible with current valid scientific evidence to continue to endorse or otherwise condone the use of a permanently implanted material in teeth that continuously emits a very potent enzyme inhibitor and metabolic toxin. Moreover, mercury’s damaging influence on the developing brain makes dental amalgam an entirely inappropriate material for use in children and women of childbearing age.”
The ADA: In Cahoots with the FDA
By the efforts put forth by the IAOMT and several others notable crusaders against dental mercury use, the facts have been exposed and the FDA is fully informed and aware of the issues. What is one of the biggest factors keeping the FDA’s apparently y stubborn blinders firmly in place? One would have to suspect that the American Dental Association (ADA) is largely to blame.
The alternatives to amalgam based products are economically sound for consumers and quite often less expensive than their mercury based counterparts. By and large amalgams cost more than glass ionomers, some ceramics and many other non-mercury based products. In fact, amalgam costs are identical to composite, which is used for smaller cavities, although composite can be slightly more expensive depending on the size of the cavities. But when you consider the alarming environmental and health catastrophe caused by amalgam, then the real cost of continued amalgam use becomes ever so evident.
The Filling that Keeps on Giving
Sadly, mainstream dentists make more money by enforcing the ‘safe’ use of mercury amalgams. In this way of thinking, damaged teeth represent money in the pocket rather than concern for the patient’s ongoing healthfulness. For example, aspiring dentists are encouraged to ‘drill, fill, and bill’, a well worn joke in dental school. Another sinister element in the push to preserve mercury’s hold on the dental industry has to do with guaranteed repeat customers. Amalgam damages tooth structure leading to fractures in the teeth and as a consequence – often leading to unnecessary root canal procedures, pro-mercury dentists continue to profit from amalgam implants long after the initial placement.
In an effort to keep the profits rolling in, the ADA has pressed its enormous influence on Congress, the Food and Drug Administration, state dental boards and corporate media in an effort to cover up the dangers of amalgam’s mercury. How did they accomplish this?
By popularizing the misleading term “silver fillings” so consumers would think amalgam is made mainly of silver when it actually contains twice as much the mercury as it does silver.
By mounting an aggressive campaign to silence competitors and critics of this outdated style of dentistry, focused directly on dentists who openly recognized the dangers of mercury amalgams
Help Stop the Use of Dental Amalgam
The ironic twist that a substance as toxic as mercury has been allowed to be implanted into the mouths of unsuspecting men, women and children for so long points directly to the ties between the FDA and the ADA – a situation that consumers need to be made aware of so that action can be taken to keep Americans safe from poisonous mercury products at the dental office.
In order to do that the FDA needs to be forced to listen to its own experts and scientists. You can help to make that happen by simply calling your congressman or congresswoman and urging them to contact the FDA to make the changes needed to eliminate the use of dental mercury. To find the name of your member of Congress simply visit their website then call Congress at 202-224-3121 and ask for your state member’s office.
Mercury Exposure Information: http://www.mercuryexposure.info/
Banning Mercury Amalgams: http://www.fda.gov/downloads/AdvisoryCommittees/CommitteesMeetingMaterials/MedicalDevices/MedicalDevicesAdvisoryCommittee/DentalProductsPanel/UCM236379.pdf