164, 2015 September)
In the early 1990s, the claim that the mercury in dental fillings
was causing major health problems began to receive some
currency. A sensationalised report "Poison in Your Mouth"
aired on CBS's 60 Minutes in December 1990, was sufficient
to boost the anti-amalgamist point of view and frighten
survey done for the American Dental Association in April 1991 tested
the impact of the 60 Minutes broadcast. It found that nearly half the
1,083 adults surveyed associated health problems with silver fillings
in their teeth. People were advised that because of those fillings they
should be concerned that they may develop health problems. Four per
cent had had their silver fillings removed, another 14% had considered
anti-amalgamists' claims include:
* that since mercury
is a toxic metal, any amount is toxic to the body.
allegations are unfounded.
mercury is wide-spread in the natural environment, because
the levels are so low it is not toxic.
that the symptoms of mercury toxicity are so vague that mainstream
health professionals do not recognise them.
that the removal of silver fillings has relieved the sufferings
of patients with mysterious, undiagnosed conditions and
degenerative diseases such as multiple sclerosis.
that organised dentistry opposes banning amalgam out of
financial interest or fear of a class action lawsuit by those
who have had mercury amalgams fillings.
that mercury from dental fillings can cause major diseases
such as multiple sclerosis, cancer, chronic fatigue and
Considerable research has been done over the last century and
mercury toxicity is well-known in the fields of environmental
and occupational medicine. Dental amalgams do release
ions. However the difference between body loads of people
with and without amalgams is insignificant and
poses no health problems.
American Dental Association has refuted the claim
that the continued use of amalgams would be in their financial
interest, pointing out that it would be financially advantageous
to them since its replacement would necessitate the use
of more costly materials.
there is absolutely no evidence that mercury amalgam fillings have any
connection with MS or any other complaint.
A subsequent inquiry by
the United States Public Health Service in 1994,
confirmed the finding that there is no evidence to support
anti-amalgamists' claims. In a review of the toxicology of
mercury, the U.S. Public Health Service found the high level
of mercury in the urine of people with "more than 30 dental
amalgams" was 4.8 micrograms per litre. No adverse
health effects occur below 25 micrograms per litre.
misinformed is the anti-fluoridation lobby who claim
amongst other things, that compulsory fluoridation of
drinking water is "poisoning" our food supply, that it is "forced
medication" and even a "communist plot".
statistics show however, beyond any reasonable doubt, that
since the adjustment of the natural fluoride concentration
in the public water supply system, it has proved to be a modern
health miracle — far fewer decayed teeth, and stronger
and longer lasting teeth.
American Dental Association.
Statement on Dental Amalgam. Dec. 1990.
Consumer Reports. The Mercury
in your mouth, May 1991, p. 316-319.
Shaw, P. 1991. Filling you in on amalgam. Inside MS, Summer 1991, pp. 24-26.
U.S. Public Health Service. Toxicological
Profile for Mercury (Update). TP-93/l0. May 1994. p. 233.
H. 1999 Alternative,
Complementary, Holistic & Spiritual Healing, Australian Skeptics
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