As promised, I'm starting this thread for those who are interested in discussing mercury/heavy metals and their role in chronic illness....including digestive problems, food intolerance, chronic gut infections and leaky gut.
Anyone interested in this topic, testing for heavy metals, treatment options, related conditions, etc....feel free to post any questions you might have.
I will start with posting some EXCELLENT news with regards to progress in the acknowledgement that mercury in amalgam fillings pose a health risk for individuals who may be susceptible or have weakened immune systems (due to additional health problems), pregnant women, fetuses, children and babies who are nursing.
WASHINGTON (June 5) - Silver-colored metal dental fillings contain mercury that may cause health problems in pregnant women, children and fetuses, the Food and Drug Administration said on Wednesday after settling a related lawsuit.
As part of the settlement with several consumer advocacy groups, the FDA agreed to alert consumers about the potential risks on its website and to issue a more specific rule next year for fillings that contain mercury, FDA spokeswoman Peper Long said.
As the result of a lawsuit, the Food and Drug Administration has agreed to warn consumers that metal fillings, which contain mercury, pose risks to children, fetuses and people who are sensitive to the chemical.
Millions of Americans have the fillings, or amalgams, to patch cavities in their teeth.
"Dental amalgams contain mercury, which may have neurotoxic effects on the nervous systems of developing children and fetuses," the FDA said in a notice on its Web site.
"Pregnant women and persons who may have a health condition that makes them more sensitive to mercury exposure, including individuals with existing high levels of mercury bioburden, should not avoid seeking dental care, but should discuss options with their health practitioner," the agency said.
The FDA said it did not recommend that people who currently have mercury fillings get them removed.
The FDA must issue the new rules in July 2009, Long said.
Such a rule could impact makers of metal fillings, which include Dentsply International Inc and Danaher Corp unit Kerr.
The new rule will give the agency "special controls (that) can provide reasonable assurance of the safety and effectiveness of the product," Long said.
The lawsuit settlement was reached on Monday with several advocacy groups, including Moms Against Mercury, which had sought to have mercury fillings removed from the U.S. market.
While the FDA previously said various studies showed no harm from mercury fillings, some consumer groups contend the fillings can trigger a range of health problems such as multiple sclerosis and Alzheimer's disease. In 2006, an FDA advisory panel of outside experts said most people would not be harmed by them, but said the agency needed more information.
Mercury has been linked to brain and kidney damage at certain levels. Amalgams contain half mercury and half a combination of other metals.
Charles Brown, a lawyer for one of the groups called Consumers for Dental Choice, said the agency's move represented an about-face. "Gone, gone, gone are all of FDA's claims that no science exists that amalgam is unsafe," he said in a statement.
J.P. Morgan Securities Inc. analyst Ipsita Smolinski said the FDA is not likely to outright ban the fillings next year but will probably call for restrictions.
"We do believe that the agency will ask for the label to indicate that mercury is an ingredient in the filling, and that special populations should be exempt from such fillings, such as: nursing women, pregnant women, young children, and immunocompromised individuals," Smolinski wrote in a research note on Wednesday.
Fewer patients have been opting for mercury fillings in recent years, instead choosing lighter options such as tooth-colored resin composites.
Only 30 percent of fillings given to patients were mercury-filled ones as of 2003, according to the American Dental Association (ADA). Other options include glass cement and porcelain as well as other metals such as gold, but they cost more and are less durable, the group has said.
This is definately something to celebrate....its a step in the right direction and hopefully the first of several steps which eventually leads to the banning of mercury fillings in dentistry.
An online poll had 90% currently with amalgam fillings in their mouth...and only 10% without.
yay for having never gotten amalgam fillings. (not many cavities, and always composite.)
Tiffanyaka "Have I Mentioned Chocolate Lately?" Inconclusive Blood Tests, Positive Dietary Results, No Endoscopy G.F. - September 2003; C.F. - July 2004 Hiker, Yoga Teacher, Engineer, Painter, Be-er of Me Bellevue, WA
Umm, correct me if I'm missing something here, but WHAT THE HECK KIND OF RESPONSE IS THAT? It doesn't say anything!!!
Umm, yeah .... seems that they don't see the real change the FDA made .... that the FDA has just declared that there are neurotoxins associated with mercury! The ADA is in denial just as the IDSA is regarding their recent bout with the attorney general of CT regarding Lyme!
It's about time these medical groups were held accountable.
Labeling Controls. For example, how should labeling controls, if any, address the disclosure of composition, including mercury content, and precautions regarding use of the device in sensitive subpopulations composed of individuals who respond biologically at lower levels of exposure to mercury than the general population?
If so, which subpopulations should be included (e.g., children under age 6, pregnant and lactating women, hypersensitive or immunocompromised individuals)?
Should the labeling controls require more specific patient labeling (e.g., informing patients of identified sensitive subpopulations of the mercury content, the alternatives to the device and their relative costs, and health risks associated with the failure to obtain dental care)?
The problem with that is most people do not KNOW if they are in the "hypersensitive subgroup". Some people do not KNOW that their immune system may be compromised by other factors making them more susceptible to the toxic effects of mercury. Most people do not KNOW whether or not they already have existing high levels of mercury bioburden.
Are you an individual who will respond biologically at lower levels of exposure to mercury than the general population??
Come on! Who really knows that??!!
Mercury has never been proven to be safe at ANY level....so why must we continue to take these risks??
It makes more sense to ban the use of amalgams as they've done in some other countries.
Yeah...I see the fillings being phased out very slowly rather than banned because of the health risks involved.
It sucks but thats the reality.
There would be an enormous amount of lawsuits...most of the people in this country have (or have had) amalgams. There would also be lawsuits from the parents who have children born with high levels of mercury.
what is the proper way to have a mercury filling removed? My husband and I both had an old one removed because of further decay. They were replaced with the white resin stuff.
I know we had dental dams. My dentist had new equipment for removing metal fillings. Seems like he was careful and they vacuumed stuff out alot. He wore a mask. That was years ago. My hubby just had his taken out. I know he had a dental dam too, but don't know of anything else because I was not there.
gluten . . . Kiss my grits!
pork and beef free- 1994
wheat free or wheat light- 2003
gluten free- January 2008
Here is the protocol....usually followed only by holistic or biological mercury-free dentists.
International Academy of Oral Medicine and Toxicology
Protocol for Mercury/Silver Filling Removal
First in every concerned doctor's mind is the protection of the patient from additional exposure to mercury. This is especially true of the mercury toxic patient. The mercury toxic patient may have been exposed to varying amounts of mercury from diet, environment, employment or from mercury/silver dental fillings. All forms are cumulative and can contribute to the body burden. The goal of this preferred procedure is to minimize any additional exposure of the patient, ourselves, or staff to mercury.
During chewing the patient is exposed to intraoral levels which are several times the EPA allowable air concentration. During the removal or placement of amalgam the patient can be exposed to amounts which are a thousand times greater than the EPA allowable concentration. Once the drill touches the filling temperature increases immediately vaporizing the mercury component of the alloy. There are 8 steps to greatly reducing everyone's exposure.
Step one Keep the fillings cool
1) All removal must be done under cold water spray with copious amounts of water. Once the removal has begun, the mercury vapor will be continuously released from the tooth.
2) Therefore, A high volume evacuator tip should be kept near the tooth (1/2 inch) at all times to evacuate this vapor from the area of the patient. Polishing amalgam can create very dangerous levels of mercury and should be avoided especially for the mercury toxic patient.
3) All patients having amalgam removed or placed should be provided with an alternative air source and instructed to not breathe through their mouth during treatment. A nasal hood such as is used with the nitrous oxide analgesia equipment is excellent. Air is best and oxygen is acceptable although not required. If just air is used it should be clean and free of mercury vapor preferably from outside the dental office.
4) Particles of mercury alloy should be washed and vacuumed away as soon as they are generated. The filling should be sectioned and removed in large pieces to reduce exposure.
At present the International Academy of Oral Medicine and Toxicology (IAOMT) has approved removal both with and without the use of a rubber dam. Some evidence exist to support both views since high levels of mercury and amalgam particles can be found under the dam. All members are agreed that whether or not a rubber dam is used the patient should be instructed to not breathe through their mouth or swallow the particles. Some experts feel that it is better to remove the amalgam first and then apply the dam if needed for restorative procedures.
5) After the fillings have been removed, take off the rubber dam if one was used and lavage the patients mouth for at least 30 seconds with cold water and vacuum. Remove your gloves and replace them with a new pair. If a restorative procedure is next then reapply a new dam and proceed.
6) Immediately change patients protective wear and clean their face.
7) Consider appropriate nutritional support before, during and after removal.
8) Install room air purifiers or ionizers and fans for everyone's well being.
OSHA requires that employees be given written informed consent before the use of any toxic chemicals of which mercury is one. Elemental mercury vapor is one of the most toxic forms of mercury and should not breathed. Women of child bearing age should be exposed to no more than 10% of the OSHA MAC. Women who are pregnant should be exposed to no mercury. If you use mercury or remove mercury in any form the National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) has recommended that your employees be medically monitored annually.
9) Any mercury exposure requires that the employee wear an approved mercury filter mask. An approved mask is appropriate for wearing during all dental procedures which will expose you or your staff to mercury.
The manner in which dentists operate their equipment dramatically affects the amount of mercury released. Never drill on mercury high dry. It is hazardous to you, your staff, and your patient. Levels as high as 4000 mg/M3 have been measured 18" from the drill when used high dry. Levels over 1000 mg/M3 are measurable upon opening an amalgam mixing capsule.
One out of 7 California dental offices tested over the OSHA TWA of 50 mg/M3. 100% of the vacuum cleaner exhaust tested over 100 mg/M3. Any office where mercury is used should be tested regularly and staff should be monitored for exposure. Testing services are available and a mercury sensor badge is available for personnel monitoring. They should test inside storage areas and along baseboards where mercury might have dropped. Office spills can go undetected for years and are extremely hazardous. The International Academy of Oral Medicine and Toxicology protocol committee seeking submissions to the Standards of Care Protocol/Preferred Procedures. We are particularly concerned and interested in detoxification. A one page self explanatory form is in the meeting packet.
Unfortunately, most regular dentists dont take these precautionary steps because many of them believe that there is no risk to the patient or to themselves. My dentist was one who believed every word written by the ADA....and after he drilled out my fillings I lost my health.
Those dentists who speak to their patients about removing fillings due to the toxic effects of mercury...or who acknowledge to a patient that the fillings can be harful...are at risk for losing their liscence to practice dentistry.
The ADA has taken affirmative steps to prevent dentists from informing their patients about the existence of or the risks of mercury in dental fillings. The ADA, in 1990, adopted an Ethical Rule (5A), which prohibits dentists from removing amalgam, “for the alleged purpose of removing toxic substances from the body when, performed solely at the recommendation or suggestion of the dentist … [because it] is improper and unethical.”A number of state dental boards have adopted these ethics rules. The effect has been to intimidate dentists from talking at all about amalgams for fear that any statement critical of the dental material might imply a recommendation for removal.
The Oregon Board of Dentistry has not adopted the ADA’s ethical rules, but it did adopt a written policy on amalgam that was even more punitive. Oregon law provides that a dentist can be disciplined, including loss of license, for commission of a fraud against a dental consumer. The amalgam policy deemed it a fraud for a dentist to recommend the removal of an amalgam for the purpose of removing a toxin. Actions by the Oregon ACLU resulted in the rescission of this policy in March 2003.
The most effective tool of state dental boards to keep dentists from warning patients about the dangers of mercury amalgams is the disciplinary process that has been used against mercury-free dentists with the encouragement and support of the ADA. Mercury-free dentists have been disciplined, and even lost their licenses to practice, for practicing mercury-free dentistry, for advertising their mercury-free practices, for publishing articles or lecturing about mercury-free dentistry. These actions by state boards have had the effect of imposing a “gag order” on mercury-free dentists, preventing them from performing their fiduciary duty to inform their patients of the risks of treatments and the alternatives available.
The Oregon Board of Dentistry investigated four mercury-free dentists in 2005 for producing an “infomercial” on mercury-free dentistry that aired multiple times on a Portland Metro area network station, but, after receiving a lengthy, detailed response, dismissed the matter. And, in 2006, the Board investigated one of those same dentists for advertising his practice in Portland Monthly magazine; a matter that is still pending. These actions by the Board are effective at keeping other mercury-free dentists from speaking out for the fear of bearing the costs to defend the investigations and the risk of losing their right to practice their profession.
I know a mercury-free dentist in Ohio going through the process to have his license revoked. I think he may have settled because his website is still up. He even had HBOT and other treatments in his office for detox. I know he moved those elsewhere to separate them from his practice.
Rachel, will you please post your source for the second article above? I'd like to see it in it's entirety.
As far as I know, my dentist toes the ADA party line--but she did tell me that if I ever notice a strong metallic taste in my mouth, then it would mean that it's time for the amalgams to come out, and that I would need it done one quadrant at a time. But she never said anything about any other precautions, so I am very leery of going to her for the removal.
She did, at my request, use resin fillings for my kids (2 out of 3 have 2 cavities each ).