FDA finally acknowledges toxicity of mercury fillings
It's the beginning of the end for mercury fillings. After a decade-long battle, Consumers for Dental Choice announced that they'd settled a lawsuit that will compel the FDA to comply with a new law and classify mercury amalgam.
According to Charlie Brown (and no, I didn't make that name up) of the General Council for Consumers for Dental Choice, the FDA agreed to drastically alter its Web site on dental amalgams. "Gone, gone, gone are all of the FDA's claims that no science exists that amalgam is unsafe," Brown said.
Now, the FDA Web site clearly states: "Dental amalgams contain mercury, which may have neurotoxic effects on the nervous systems of developing children and fetuses. When amalgam fillings are placed in teeth or removed from teeth, they release mercury vapor. Mercury vapor is also released during chewing. FDA's rulemaking will examine evidence concerning whether release of mercury vapor can cause health problems, including neurological disorders, in children and fetuses."
It's always been something of a shock to me that there hasn't been more of an uproar about mercury in fillings. After all, it's already known that they leak mercury into your system at an alarming rate. Researchers discovered that when they stimulated an amalgam filling, they could actually see the mercury vapor emanating from the filling for at least an hour and a half. It doesn't take much to stimulate a filling, either: It happens every time you eat, brush your teeth, chew gum, or grind your teeth. And yes – the vapors that come off those fillings are toxic.
What's more frightening is that – years after this research happened – this no-brainer reversal of the FDA's stance on these oral poisons is considered such a big victory. It just goes to show you how broken our system can be.
The huge upside of this victory is that it's one of the first times that anti-mercury organizations worked together to present a unified front against a mercury-based product. To change the policy, everyone pulled together at once – developing a single strategy, circulating petitions, getting Congressional hearings, creating state fact sheet laws, being heard by scientific advisory hearings, etc.
Proof positive that persistence—and teamwork—pay off.
Filling you in about bad fillings,
William Campbell Douglass II, M.D.