Lame Duck Dental Board Pushes Anti-Consumer Fact Sheet

Press Releases: 10.17.01

Los Angeles -- Anti-Mercury activists are protesting an 11th hour attempt by the lame duck California Dental Board to ram-through an anti-consumer Dental Materials Fact Sheet at a hastily scheduled board meeting taking place this afternoon at the Junipero Serra State Office Building in downtown Los Angeles.

Governor Gray Davis recently signed two bills into law (SB 134 and SB 26) that put the Dental Board out of business at the end of the year and create a brand new Dental Board starting January 1. The bills, author, Sen. Liz Figueroa (D-Fremont), has stated that the board,s refusal for nine years to adopt a Fact Sheet that would properly warn dental patients of the dangers of the toxin Mercury in so called "silver" dental fillings was "the straw that broke the camel's back" in leading the state legislature and the governor to put the board out of business.

"The California Dental Board continues to cover up the dangers of Mercury in dental fillings, in defiance of the law and the increasing scientific evidence," said Charles G. Brown, the lead attorney in the national legal battle against Mercury in dentistry and a former West Virginia state Attorney General. "In fact, that's the main reason that the state legislature and Governor Davis are putting them out of business. This 11th hour, lame duck attempt to ram through a fact sheet that covers up the dangers of Mercury in dental fillings is arrogant, callous and blatantly anti-consumer. This board has its head in the guillotine, and all it can think to do is to say, Let them eat Mercury."

"Mercury is universally recognized as an extremely dangerous toxin," Brown continued. "So called silver, fillings are really 50% Mercury and only 25% silver. The amount of Mercury in one filling is colossal by scientific standards. One filling contains 750 milligrams of Mercury, enough to contaminate a small lake. The Dental Board and the American Dental Association are out of the medical mainstream in claiming that Mercury is safe for use in human beings. The rest of the medical world is eliminating the use of Mercury in all other circumstances. People have the right to know the truth from the dental establishment about the dangers of Mercury."

"We are grateful to the State Legislature and Governor Davis for putting this Dental Board out of business, and we want to work with the new Dental Board in January on a fact sheet that will tell consumers the truth about the dangers of Mercury," said Anita Vazquez Tibau, a leader of Consumers for Dental Choice. Vazquez Tibau attributes her own medical problems to Mercury in dental fillings. Tibau explained that she had acute asthma for two decades, symptoms that began when the fillings were placed and ended when they were removed. "If the dentist had only told me that the fillings were half mercury, I would never have put them in."

Also speaking at the press conference was Dr. S. Ward Eccles, DDS, a Livermore dentist with a Mercury-free practice. "If you have amalgam left over after filling a cavity, there are only two things you can do with it: you can put it in a toxic waste dump, or you can put it in the next tooth. Something's wrong when those are the only two choices," said Dr. Eccles, who is a Fellow of the International Academy of Oral Medicine and Toxicology.

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