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Mercury fillings

FDA declares mercury fillings to be perfectly safe for human health

Tuesday, September 05, 2006 by: NewsTarget
Tags: mercury fillings, medical myths, the FDA


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(NewsTarget) The U.S. Food and Drug Administration recently announced that its review of 34 recent studies yielded "no significant new information" to change its position on allowing mercury amalgam fillings in dentistry.

The FDA's review will be presented at an upcoming two-day meeting to discuss the safety of dental mercury use. Consumer groups that are critical of the FDA's claim that mercury fillings are safe are expected to petition the agency to ban the use of mercury amalgam in pregnant women, as fetuses are especially susceptible to the toxic metal.

"The science is over. There is no safe level of exposure," says Charles Brown, a lawyer for the anti-mercury group Consumers for Dental Choice. "The only thing standing between this and a ban is politics. [The FDA is] still pretending it is a scientific question, but it isn't."

Mercury vapor from amalgam fillings is released through chewing and tooth-brushing, and has been linked to brain and kidney damage. Past research has shown that people with more mercury fillings have higher levels of mercury in their blood, though the FDA says even people with numerous amalgam fillings have blood mercury levels below what is considered dangerous.

"You have to remember, the FDA is the same agency that voted to put Vioxx back on the market even after the agency's own data showed the drug killed more than 60,000 Americans," says Mike Adams, a consumer health advocate and advocate of FDA reform. "This is a corrupt federal agency steeped in politics that answers to private industry, not the public. That it declares mercury fillings to be 'safe' for the public is no surprise," he said. "It is, however, further evidence of the dire need to radically reform the agency."

Rep. Diane Watson (D-Calif.) -- who has introduced legislation to ban mercury fillings by 2008 -- is expected to address the FDA panel to push a study of the environmental impacts of mercury amalgam in dentistry.

Alamgam fillings -- comprised of 50 percent mercury combined with silver, copper and tin -- have declined in recent years, as more consumers are opting for resin composite fillings, which blend with the natural color of the tooth.

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