Mercury in Dentistry
Dr. Mercola recently posted a new article on mercury in dentistry.
Mercola is opposed to using mercury for fillings. The opinions below are
from the Doctor Mercola website.
ADA’s Stronghold Over Amalgam Is Finally Crumbling
As its power reached monopoly status, the ADA became the
puppeteer for amalgam. Its string-pulling caused regulators to
dance, lawmakers to speak, and the mainstream media to stay silent.
Following the ADA line, state dental boards enforced the gag rule at
the threat of license removal.
Choosing to please the ADA and hence defying its legal duty to
classify amalgam, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) drew the
wrath of a United States District Judge.
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), instead of trying to
reduce mercury pollution, cut the infamous “midnight deal” with the
ADA so dentists could continue to pollute instead of buy separators.
ADA’s actions gave license to profiteering ADA members to reap quick
and easy profits by, in the generations-old dental school joke, the
method of “drill, fill, and bill.”
Enter Consumers for Dental Choice, the nonprofit group led by
attorney and advocate Charlie Brown. In their first campaign, they
destroyed the gag rule, freeing up dentists to talk to patients and
the public about the value of mercury-free dentistry.
Later, they sued the FDA, and a federal judge forced the agency
to classify amalgam. At the dawn of the International treaty on
mercury talks, they organized the World Alliance for Mercury-Free
Dentistry, so they could go toe-to-toe with the pro-mercury World
Dental Federation (the ADA is its major member).
Then came 2013, and things started to fall apart for the ADA. In
the past nine months, this pro-mercury trade group has suffered a
succession of humiliating defeats -- at the mercury treaty, in the
mainstream media, and in the public health community.
In Geneva in January, at its fifth session stretching over three
years, 140 nations reached an agreement on the language of the
mercury treaty on amalgam. Here is why our side won at the
mercury treaty, and why the ADA side lost:
- For the first time, nations have acknowledged that amalgam
waste management is not enough. The final treaty language calls
for nations to take measures “to phase down the use of
- Amalgam is the only mercury-added product in the
treaty with a road map for how to phase down its use,
providing nations with specific guidance on what measures can be
taken to transition to mercury-free alternatives. That’s how
seriously the nations are taking this issue.
Phase-down measures listed in the treaty include adopting
national objectives to minimize amalgam use, promoting the use
of mercury-free alternatives, training dentists and dental
students on alternatives, encouraging insurance policies that
disfavor amalgam, and ending the use of unencapsulated bulk
- The American Dental Association (ADA) fought hard to keep
amalgam out of Annex C, the part of the treaty that will be
regularly reviewed and can be easily amended. The world alliance
led by Charlie Brown pushed hard to get amalgam into Annex C –
and won! So now, the treaty’s amalgam provision that currently
calls for a phase-down can be upgraded later… to set a phase-out
date that will end amalgam use once and for all.
Amalgam’s Days Are Numbered...
The American media was quick to understand the value of the
treaty. Even in its hometown of Chicago, the ADA is facing stories
saying amalgam’s days may be numbered. The Chicago Tribune2
ran a long article on amalgam, explaining that “momentum is building
to phase out dental amalgam.”
The widely-watched Dr. Oz Show aired “Are Your Silver Fillings
Making You Sick?” – an episode devoted to telling dental consumers
the truth about dental amalgam. Dr. Oz, audience members, and even
dentists roundly condemned the continued use of mercury-releasing
dental amalgam. If you missed the Dr. Oz show, you can watch the
In the old days, the ADA would go to the producer, a retraction
would be made, and the status quo ante would return. This
time, it did not work. Dr. Oz stood his ground, and the ADA threw in
severing its affiliation with Dr. Oz’s website. The public
health community, an integral part of health care in America, now
realizes the value of mercury-free dentistry. An
American Public Health
Association panel met last month to
soundly rejected one backed by the ADA to “preserve” the use of
dental amalgam. The panel suggested that any revised resolution
“…be reflective for support of eventual phase out of the use of
dental amalgam” and presented
comments from several APHA sections:
- “Recent studies verifying the benefits of mercury-free
alternatives over amalgam (in terms of longevity, accessibility,
and the environment) are neglected,”
- “Scientific evidence, as well as updated data from the
United Nations Environment Program and other reputable sources,
indicates that amalgam is a significant source of mercury
pollution and largely cannot be prevented except by source
- From the
Environment section of the APHA: …the [ADA] proposed
resolution is plainly inconsistent with the Association’s
comprehensive, precautionary approach to anthropogenic mercury
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