Press Releases: 06.08.03
June 8, 2003
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CONTACT: Michael Bender, Mercury Policy Project/Ban Mercury Working Group, (802) 223-9000
Charlie Brown, Consumers for Dental Choice, (202) 822-6307
Advocates urge U.S. government
to protect children and pregnant women from mercury
Stockholm, Sweden - The Swedish Dental Material Commission released a report last week recommending that dental mercury amalgam be banned. Advocates applauded the Swedish Commission's advice and urged the US government to review the safety of amalgam, especially for pregnant women and children.
"This is the first step of a worldwide movement to stop poisoning people and the planet with dental mercury, since there are safer alternatives readily available," said Michael Bender, director of the Mercury Policy Project.
The Swedish Commission tasked Professor Emeritus Maths Berlin with giving an updated risk analysis in environmental medical terms on mercury in dental fillings, based on an overview of scientific literature published in 1997-2002 and current knowledge. Berlin had previously led two World Health Organization Task Groups-one on inorganic mercury and one on methylmercury and also testified before the US Congress Subcommittee on Human Rights and Wellness on May 8, 2003.
"Congressional hearings were held in May to review the latest science on dental mercury risks," said Charlie Brown of Consumers for Dental Choice. "Once the truth gets out, no on is going to tolerate mercury fillings in pregnant women and children."
After the Commission presented their recommendations to the Swedish Minister of Social Welfare, newspaper headlines across Sweden and Norway conveyed the story:
'Abolition of amalgam is welcomed' (Dagens Nyheter, Sweden)
'No more amalgam fillings' (Svenska Dagbladet, Sweden)
'Sweden will get rid of amalgam' (Aftenposten, Norway)
'Swedes say NO to amalgam in teeth' (Aftenposten Aften, Norway)
'Amalgam to be discontinued in dental care' (Dagens Nyheter, Sweden)
The Swedish newspaper Dagens Nyheter wrote "Amalgam can cause ill health. That is the unanimous conclusion of the study delivered on Tuesday to the Minister of Social Welfare Lars Engqvist. The Dental Materials Commission recommends that the government and Parliament speed up efforts to remove mercury-containing amalgam from dental care."
The Swedish Commission included representatives from the Swedish Dental Association, the dental schools, the Swedish National Board of Health and Welfare, and the Swedish Association of Dental Mercury Patients. The 557-page report contains analysis and recommendations to increase knowledge about health problems related to amalgam and other dental materials, and to improve the care given to patients with such problems.
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