Arizona Press Release

Press Advisory: Protect the Children

March 13-14, 2003
Re: "Protect the Children" news conference to be held March 19, 11 am, at the Capitol
From: Coalition to Abolish Mercury Dental Fillings (Washington DC)

Info: Sue Ann Taylor (Atlanta) 770.720-1915, Kurt Koenig (Mesa) 480.831-1294, or Charles G. Brown (Washington) 202.347-9112. For written materials, e: Charlie@toxicteeth.org.

A broad coalition of physicians, academicians, dentists, and environmental, children's, and minority organizations is asking the Arizona Legislature to pass a bill to ban mercury fillings for children. (House Bill #2467)

The organization is holding a "Protect the Children" news conference at the Capitol on Wed., March 19, 2003, at 11:00 a.m. (on plaza between House bldg. & Capitol bldg). The group supports a bill by Representatives Karen Johnson (R-Mesa) and Pete Hershberger R-Tucson) to stop dentists from placing mercury ("silver") fillings in children, pregnant women, and nursing mothers. The bill is posed for a floor vote.

"Mercury is just about the most toxic non-radioactive element on the planet," said Carolyn Dohrenwend of Chandler, a spokeswoman for the Coalition to Abolish Mercury Dental Fillings. "It's time we put the children of Arizona ahead of the special interests."

"So-called 'silver' fillings are mainly mercury," says Dr. Terry Lee, a dentist from Mesa and a spokesman for the Holistic Dental Association. "The fillings are toxic when going into the mouth, and toxic when going out. We therefore call on our fellow dentists to stop placing this material in the children of Arizona."

"The term 'silver' is false and deceptive," says Charles G. Brown of Washington, counsel for the Coalition. "It's time for the ADA to open wide and say the 'M' word."

The national NAACP passed a resolution endorsing abolishing mercury dental fillings. The Arizona-based Children for a Safe Environment also endorses the bill.

Although many dentists support the bill, the American Dental Association supports mercury fillings. The coalition criticizes the ADA's financial ties to mercury manufacturers in its "seal of acceptance" program, its (expired) patents, and its mercury "gag rule."

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