These questions are posted as a guide to increase consumer, patient and parent awareness about a toxic substance - mercury - that is mixed with amalgam and installed in our teeth without any labels, warnings, or the basic human and medical right of informed written consent in the United States.
20+ QUESTIONS ON DENTAL AMALGAM AND MERCURY HEALTH RISKS: DID YOU KNOW?
THE AMERICAN DENTAL ASSOCIATION (ADA)
1. The ADA was founded in 1859 (155 years ago) as a pro-amalgam trade association?
2. A 1990 60 Minutes special, Is There Poison in Your Mouth? the highest-watched 60 Minutes show at the time, was pulled and never again shown or referred to on network TV?
3. The ADA put a gag order clause in its Code of Ethics saying that dentists who promote removal of amalgam for health reasons will be expelled, and expelled dentists until the courts put a stop to it?
4. Center for Responsive Politics calls ADA a ‘heavy hitter’ for campaign contributions, legal expenses?
5. The ADA is also a commercial organization, with 83 patents in 38 years, while the AMA has none?
DENTISTS AND DENTAL PLANS
6. There are serious health warnings on mercury amalgam that dentists receive from manufacturers?
7. About half of dentists don’t use amalgam any more, out of concerns for safety or environment?
8. Dentists who want to teach at US dental schools keep quiet any concerns or reservations about the health impacts of amalgam?
9. Dental plans are not cost neutral, the vast majority only pay the amount it would cost to put more amalgam back in the back of your mouth, and deny appeals despite medical proof of toxicity?
10. Removal of amalgam by regular dentists without special techniques and equipment beyond a dental dam increases exposure to mercury vapor, while biologic dentists use special training and equipment?
DIAGNOSTIC TESTS AND REPORTING
11. Blood, urine and hair tests for mercury levels are not that reliable with false negatives, as how your metabolism processes mercury determines if it shows up in tests, or stays in body, cells and brain?
12. More reliable tests for mercury damage may include urinary porphyrin levels, and glutathione levels?
13. A biocompatibility blood test can determine, among the vast quantity of dental metals and materials, which are most reactive, somewhat reactive and least reactive to your individual immune system?
14. Simple genetic tests can find at-risk gene types impacting methylation and detoxification pathways?
15. Reporting amalgam reactions is not mandatory, nor billable, and is confusing, so rarely happens?
16. The FDA considers sensitivity or reactivity reactions rare, because they are rarely reported?
17. You can and should report adverse events to the FDA, and report unsafe medical devices?
18. You can and should also report adverse events to the State Dental Board, and Poison Control Hotline?
THE FOOD AND DRUG ADMINISTRATION (FDA)
19. Mercury amalgam is considered a medical device, a prosthetic device, not a substance, by the FDA?
20. The FDA long grandfathered it “generally recognized at safe,” never rigorously tested or proven safe?
21. As a result of a lawsuit, the FDA only ruled it Class II, with a guidance document for manufacturers to dentists in 2009 stating that mixed metals should not be used in the same or abutting teeth, because it creates galvanic micro-electrical currents that can degrade mercury in amalgam?
22. The FDA Commissioner recused herself because she sat on the board of an amalgam distributor for six years before taking this position?
23. The FDA ignored recommendations of its own Scientific Advisory Panels in 2010 to restrict its use and post warnings for use in children, pregnant women and people with a known allergy to mercury?
24. Thomas Duplinsky of Yale SOM published a 2012 study finding dentists have higher prescription usage for neurological, psychiatric, cardiovascular and respiratory diseases than matched controls?
GENES AND IMMUNE SYSTEM
25. People with ApoE4, CPOX4, or with a number of other common genetic mutations (SNPs) affecting methylation and detoxification do not clear mercury well, so have higher rates of toxicity?
26. People with these gene types have higher rates of Alzheimers, autoimmune and movement disorders?
27. Genetic screening diagnostic tests for the above, and for immune pathways are covered by insurance?
28. Mercury can cause allergies and skin reactions to yeasts, sugars, wheat, gluten, corn and soy?
29. Monkeys and sheep with amalgam placed in their teeth immediately start redistributing it throughout their bodies and brains? And get very ill pretty quickly when amalgam is put in their teeth?
HEALTH AND HEALTH IMPACTS
30. Mothers pass mercury on to our children via the placenta and breast milk?
31. There are changes in children’s urinary porphyrins evident soon after amalgam is installed?
32. Loss of teeth does not protect one from mercury poisoning, as the body and brain burden persists if one does not clear mercury well, or follow an effective, medically supervised detox protocol?
33. Populations with high amalgam exposures include midlifers, boomers and older adults, Native Americans, the Military, Medicaid patients, and all who don’t know or can’t afford alternatives?
34. Crematoria are exempt from adequate pollution controls, and have no provisions to remove mercury amalgam dental fillings prior to cremation?
35. Health disparities and chronic health problems have proven correlations with amalgam exposure, but this is not considered sufficient proof to act to ban or restrict its use?
36. James S Woods, an author of the Children’s Amalgam Trial in Portugal, reanalyzed data by gender and gene type, publishing new studies that amalgam led to kidney and behavioral problems in some boys?
37. Amalgam was banned in Norway and Denmark in 2008, Sweden 2009, and other nations restrict it?
38. The third largest Israeli dental plan will not pay for amalgams in children?
39. Parker Hannifin, a major engineering company that self-insures, pays for amalgam removal to protect the health of its employees, and only pays for fillings using safer, biocompatible alternatives?
40. The World Health Organization has called for its end in dentistry, and under a new International Treaty signed in 2013, many nations are working to phase out its use in dentistry worldwide?
41. The EEC is laying the groundwork to follow the Scandinavian countries and stop using it?
WHAT STATES CAN DO (AND CANNOT DO)
42. Courts have ruled that states cannot ban amalgam because of the Interstate Commerce Clause, as long as the FDA maintains in is safe, despite the recommendations of the FDA Scientific Advisory Panel?
43. That there are no informed consents required or health warnings shared with patients, except in the four informed consent states of Maine, California, Connecticut and Vermont, and Philadelphia, PA?
44. Consumers do not get a label or the most basic right of informed written consent for use of amalgam?
45. The FDA was sued by the International Academy of Oral Medicine & Toxicology et al in March 2014 for violating the federal APA law by not responding to petitions for reconsideration for years?
46. What can we do? What ideas do you have? What can you do? What can we all do together?
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