By Mike Barrett
Mercury found in dental amalgam fillings has been an issue within the dental community and beyond for many years. These fillings, used since the American Civil War, contain an estimated 50 percent mercury. Whenever friction meets these fillings, toxic mercury gases are emitted. This means that with each chew and dental drill comes an emission of mercury gases, leading to numerous health problems. While nearly half of dentists have stopped using amalgam fillings due to health dangers, the Food and Drug Administration has yet to act on these issues.
FDA Ignoring Own Scientists Warnings on Amalgam Fillings
In December 2010, the Food and Drug Administration convened its second scientific advisory panel on dental amalgams. Scientists yet again told the FDA that amalgam use in children, pregnant women, and hypersensitive adults must come to a halt. The toxic vapors emitted are harmful to everyone, but these groups of individuals especially suffer.
According to Campaign for Mercury Free Dentistry:
Dr. Kotagal said there is “no place for mercury in children,” Dr. Ismail said “children less than 6 years of age, I would restrict it significantly,” Dr. Thompson said “definitely not in pregnant women and definitely not in those below 6 years of age,” Dr. Fleming said we need contraindications for pregnant women, and Dr. Burbacher said, “why put amalgams in children if we know they’re going to live with that for the rest of their lives? And we don’t know what that’s going to do.”
In 2009, no one on the FDA’s panel agreed to the FDA’s ruling – unrestricted amalgam use in children and in pregnant women. Then, in 2011, FDA Center Director Jeff Shuren – the person in charge of amalgam issues – was put in the hot seat after being confronted by dentists, consumers, and scientists. In response to the concerns voiced by the dentists, consumers, and scientists, Shuren said that the FDA would make ‘an announcement by the end of the year’.
Needless to say, no such announcement has been made. Until the FDA listens to its scientists, children will continue to develop neurological system complications, and the toxic vapors will continue to toxify the environment.