Press Releases: 09.28.05
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Consumers For Dental Choice
Washington, DC, and Philadelphia, PA Sept. 28, 2005 – The first ever National Mercury Amalgam Awareness Week will take place the week of October 3-10, to enhance the public’s awareness of the issue. In a recent Zogby poll of Connecticut voters conducted for Consumers for Dental Choice, fewer than half of people surveyed could answer affirmatively when asked if amalgam fillings contained mercury.
Most people know that eating fish can expose them to levels of mercury that could pose a health risk, but an equal or greater source of mercury that is little known is just under their noses – in their mouth. Amalgam fillings, deceptively called “silver”, are really 50% mercury and are a “major source of exposure” to this toxic metal according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The World Health Organization says this exposure is “greater than all other sources combined,” including fish.
“National Mercury Amalgam Awareness Week will call on activists across the country to get the word out about the potential health risks and environmental degradation caused by the continued use of amalgam fillings,” said Charles Brown of Consumers for Dental Choice.
Major events are being held October 7 in Washington, DC and Philadelphia, PA. Consumers for Dental Choice is sponsoring a “Mercury Vapor Testing Day” in Washington for people to come and get their mercury vapor levels from their amalgam fillings tested for free. In Philadelphia, the Pennsylvania Coalition for Mercury-Free Dentistry is holding a major rally around the American Dental Association (ADA)’s Annual Meeting being held in the city.
"Mercury is an acute toxic substance. Its use has been phased out of vaccines, disinfectants, contact lense solutions, and thermometers. Despite the public's growing awareness of the dangers of mercury, most remain unaware that dental amalgam commonly used by dentists to fill cavities contains significant amounts of mercury. In fact, dental offices are now one of the primary sources of mercury pollution in the environment,” said Congresswoman Diane Watson (D-CA).
Representative Watson, along with Congressman Dan Burton (R-IN), will introduce a bill during Mercury Amalgam Awareness Week that would phase out the use of mercury in dental fillings. "My legislation phases out the use of mercury in dental amalgams. It will play a major role in the removal of mercury from our environment,” said Watson.
Information on the subject of amalgam has been slow to come out as the ADA has thwarted dentist’s efforts to speak with their patients about the potential dangers of the fillings through enforcement of its notorious “gag rule”. Many dentists are afraid to speak out at the threat of losing their license to practice – and state ACLUs in Oregon, Iowa, and most recently in Connecticut – have stepped up to defend blatant violations of dentists’ free speech rights on the issue.
Consumers for Dental Choice was established in 1996 by consumer advocates, mercury poisoning victims, scientists and mercury-free dentists, to educate the public about the health and environmental dangers of mercury fillings, and to ensure the integrity of scientific research on amalgam. Since the organization began, the number of amalgams placed has declined dramatically, from two-thirds of all fillings placed to one-third, and the number of mercury-free dentists has grown dramatically.