Press Releases: 07.13.05
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Michael J. London
TRUMBULL, Conn., July 13, 2005 - The State of Connecticut has backed down in its attempt to prevent a Trumbull dentist from speaking about potential health problems that may result from mercury in amalgam tooth fillings.
The case is likely to have national implications. For many years, dentists nationwide have been pressured by dental associations and state dental boards to keep quiet about problems that may stem from amalgam fillings, which are 50% mercury -- a known neurotoxin. Some dentists have been threatened with potential loss of their license to practice.
In November 2003, Dr. Mark A. Breiner, an author, lecturer and dentist in private practice for 30 years, sued the State of Connecticut in federal court, saying the State was illegally trying to abridge his freedom of speech.
The Connecticut Civil Liberties Union decided to represent Dr. Breiner after the State ordered Dr. Breiner not to speak about potential problems with mercury fillings. The state threatened to review Dr. Breiner's license to practice after he wrote an article, published July 6, 2003 in the Connecticut Post, saying, "I am convinced that mercury in these amalgams is neither stable nor inert; scientific evidence suggests it goes to all tissues and organs, especially the jaw, liver, kidneys and brain."
Soon after the article was published, the state Department of Public Health told Dr. Breiner that he had to "refrain from submitting any more editorials concerning [his] opinion of amalgam fillings and/or legislation."
Atty. Lewis Chimes, the attorney working on behalf of the CCLU, said, "I am pleased that we were able to get a resolution with the Department of Public Health and Dental Board that makes clear that Dr. Breiner is only restricted in what he can say in the context of his dental practice, and his advertising. He has a right to express his views privately and in any public forum without fear of sanctions."
In 2001, Connecticut passed a bill aimed at getting mercury out of the environment. Because mercury from so-called "silver" fillings enters waterways from dental offices and from a person's excretions, the state DEP currently is considering whether mercury fillings can still be used.
The American Dental Association and the Connecticut Dental Association vigorously oppose Dr. Breiner's views on amalgam fillings. These organizations now are trying to persuade the Connecticut Department of Environmental Protection to continue to allow dentists to use the toxic metal as a tooth filling.
Under the out-of-court settlement with the State, Dr. Breiner will be allowed to write or lecture about amalgam or any other opinion he holds.
However, under the agreement, if Dr. Breiner includes his views in an advertisement, the advertisement must contain a statement noting that the State Health Department has an opposing opinion.
Dr. Breiner is a past President of the International Academy of Oral Medicine and Toxicology, a Fellow of the Academy of General Dentistry, a Fellow of the International Academy of Oral Medicine and Toxicology, and member of the American Academy of Biological Dentistry, the Holistic Dental Association and the National Center for Homeopathy.
Dr. Breiner, author of Whole-Body Dentistry (Quantum Health Press), was head of Dental Prosthetics at the White Sands Missile Range while he was a Captain in the U.S. Army. He has been in private practice since 1973. His office is in Trumbull, Connecticut.