Activists Demand Disclosure About Mercury Content in Dental Fillings : LUSENET : Grassroots Information Coordination Center (GICC) : One Thread

Activists Demand Disclosure About Mercury Content in Dental Fillings (KFWB) -- Activists claiming dental patients are being deceived about the use of mercury in their dental fillings filed two lawsuits in Los Angeles Federal Court. The suits allege the California and American Dental Associations use unfair business practices by not disclosing that common silver fillings are actually about 50 percent mercury by weight.

Attorney Charles Brown filed the suits on behalf of health activists and dentists opposed to using mercury. He says the toxic metal has been removed from vaccines, contact lens solution, and disinfectants and "only the American Dental Association supports the use of mercury in health care."

The fillings in question also contain about 25 percent silver, as well as small amounts of copper and tin. Some patients claim to have suffered toxic effects from so-called amalgam fillings. However, the dental industry insists the amounts of mercury is minute and amalgam fillings are safe. Mercury exposure can cause cancer, birth defects and nerve damage. However, studies of the health effects of mercury in amalgam have been largely inconclusive.

Dental patients often choose amalgam fillings because they last longer and are about half the cost of other options, including plastic and porcelain.

The suits were filed as the California Dental Board prepares to update a fact sheet it provides to dentists outlining the most common types of materials used in fillings. A meeting on the issue previously scheduled for Thursday has now been moved to next month.

-- PHO (, June 12, 2001

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