Countries Everywhere Are Banning This, Why Isn’t US?


We must get mercury, a neurotoxic heavy metal, out of dentistry. Dental amalgam, 50% mercury, is a primitive, pre-Civil War pollutant. The alternatives today are far superior technically, yet amalgam is still being used by dentists who won’t train for 21st century dentistry, and in most government programs.

Spend your dental money only on mercury-free dentists. Dentists still using amalgam for anybody are mercury polluters, and even put their own staffs at risk from the mercury vapors in their dental offices.

Consumers for Dental Choice created an effective worldwide coalition, led by Charlie Brown to campaign to eradicate further use of dental amalgam (50% mercury) from the Earth. The campaign’s string of successes across the globe – especially ending amalgam for children – is building unrelenting pressure on the U.S. government to act.

Resistance from the pro-mercury wing of dentistry, which has its tentacles deep inside government agencies and insurance companies, is rapidly eroding due to nonstop and strategic pressure from Charlie Brown and this small but effective organization.

Equally, Consumers for Dental Choice urge support for the mercury-free dentists of North America and the world. They are providing nontoxic dentistry; they merit your business. Not meriting your dollars are the dentists still using amalgam. Sure, try to change your dentist’s mind if she/he still uses amalgam. But if they are still implanting amalgam, it’s time to exercise your power as a consumer.

If consumers move en masse to mercury-free dentists, the dentists still sticking with amalgam will follow, regardless of pleading by the pro-mercury Dental Associations.

Consumers for Dental Choice, working closely with their European allies, carried out an intense campaign that resulted in a new European Union regulation that banned the use of amalgam in children under 15 years old, pregnant women and breastfeeding mothers, starting July 1, 2018. That same regulation requires EU countries to submit national plans to phase down their overall use of amalgam.

So Consumers for Dental Choice and team took action. They:
• Sent a team to meet with decision-makers in national capitals;
• Brought a team to Strasbourg, seat of the European Parliament;
• Sent guidance to European Union countries on how to construct an effective national plan;
• Had meetings with key government officials in the European Parliament, at the European Commission and in the European Council;
• Worked with other nonprofit groups in the same way to create coalitions on every continent, including North America.

Czech Republic, Finland, Ireland and Slovakia announced their end date for amalgam use! These countries join Sweden and Norway to lead all of Europe to mercury-free dentistry.

Victories In Developing Countries Too

In Southeast Asia, Vietnam’s government directed its provinces to: 1) stop using amalgam in children; and 2) develop a road map to phase out all amalgam use as of 2021.

In South Asia, both the Bangladeshi Armed Forces and the Indian Armed Forces provide only mercury-free fillings for their soldiers, sailors and airmen — and their families.

In Central Africa, the Cameroon Baptist Convention ended amalgam use more than a decade ago in its large hospital system and dental clinics that dot the nation.

In West Africa, the Nigerian federal Consumer Protection Council distributes a brochure urging parents and consumers to consider mercury-free fillings for themselves and their children. In the island nation of Mauritius, amalgam use for children has been effectively ended.

The World Alliance for Mercury-Free Dentistry teamed with UN Environment to co-sponsor a workshop on “Promoting Dental Amalgam Phase-Down Measures Under the Minamata Convention and Other Initiatives, For ‘Especially Women, Children and, Through Them, Future Generations’” in Bangkok. Experts hailing from 21 countries shared their wealth of experience in phasing down amalgam use — especially for children — in a variety of settings.

The US Campaign Heats Up

As more and more countries are moving toward mercury-free dentistry, the United States is increasingly isolated. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration refuses to lift a finger to protect American children from this toxic source of mercury, even though the agency admits that amalgam has not been proven safe for this population. As explained in FDA’s 2009 dental amalgam rule, “The developing neurological systems in fetuses and young children may be more sensitive to the neurotoxic effects of mercury vapor. Very limited to no clinical information is available regarding long-term health outcomes in pregnant women and their developing fetuses, and children under the age of six, including infants who are breastfed.”

Seeing the progress in other countries has led more Americans from all walks of life to speak out against FDA’s failed amalgam policy than ever before:

• The Chicago Declaration to End Dental Mercury Use was signed on to by more than 50 nonprofit groups, including Sierra Club, Greenpeace, Health Care Without Harm, Organic Consumers Association and Learning Disabilities Association of America.

• The Journal of the National Medical Association published a commentary entitled “Is Dental Amalgam Toxic to Children of Color?” Its authors included two physicians, a dentist and bioethics professor, and a research scientist calling for “eliminating mercury exposure wherever possible for everyone, especially the most vulnerable.”

• When FDA invited the public to comment about patient preferences regarding medical devices, it got a mouthful on amalgam! In a public docket, approximately 94% of comments were from patients opposing amalgam, compared to only 6% addressing all other devices combined.

• More than 48,000 people have joined them in speaking out, signing a petition to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration demanding the end of amalgam use in children.

One reporter noted the “unrelenting pressure” by Consumers for Dental Choice on FDA to act. By isolating FDA’s policy from the world, by showing intense support for change in FDA policy from the American people and by spotlighting the massive inconsistencies in its position, Consumers for Dental Choice was setting the plate for action in Washington.

Dental Boards Held Accountable For Pro-Mercury Dentistry

The collapse of the state dental board-enforced gag rule on mercury-free dentists is thus being engineered, freeing up dentists to advertise, advocate and advise mercury-free dentistry. The next step was amalgam fact sheet laws in some states and cities, giving consumers information they need to make informed decisions about their fillings — information they frequently don’t receive from the pro-mercury dentists.

Maine Board of Dental Practice is not enforcing the state’s fact sheet law: Pro-mercury dentists are violating Maine law by not giving the fact sheet to patients or posting it on their walls. So, a petition was made to the Maine dental board saying they must enforce that law. On July 25, 2019, the Maine dental board agreed to the demand, and began the rule-making process to enforce the fact sheet law!

Crucial Minamata Convention Meeting On Mercury

For three years, Consumers for Dental Choice and their team worked to get amalgam included in the Minamata Convention on Mercury, a major environmental treaty — and they did it!

As president of the World Alliance for Mercury-Free Dentistry, Charlie Brown led a delegation of talented environmental and dental nonprofit group leaders from five continents at the treaty talks. By outworking, out-strategizing, and out-pointing the pro-mercury World Dental Federation (the American Dental Association’s international arm), they ensured that the treaty includes a provision requiring that each nation reduce its amalgam use.

Furthermore, Brown and his team found a legal route to victory: They outsmarted the ADA by getting amalgam into the treaty’s annex, which permits a later amendment that could provide the road map to the end of amalgam.

Several African governments, leading the charge, have sponsored an amendment that sets the end date for all amalgam use and an earlier end date for children — the route that Sweden and Norway took to ban amalgam use in their countries long ago.


November 24, 2019


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