Watson Agrees: Dental Mercury Health Threat

A bill recently introduced by Rep.
Diane Watson (CA-32) would prohibit
the placement of mercury amalgam
fillings in pregnant women and
children under 18 by July 1, 2002, and
ban the use of dental mercury for all
patients by 2007.
The bill’s introduction was
prompted by data that mercury
amalgam could adversely affect patient
health if inhaled during the filling
procedure or as the filling erodes over
time and by the public health threats
associated with mercury amalgam
disposal.
Mercury is an acute neurotoxin that
converts to its most toxic form, methyl
mercury, in water. Methyl mercury
contamination in fish tissue has given
rise to a U.S. Food and Drug
Administration consumer advisory that
warns pregnant women and women of
childbearing age to avoid consumption
of 4 fish species.
The California Department of Toxic
Substances Control reported that 180
pounds of mercury from dental offices
are released into California’s waters
each year. Just one gram of mercury is
enough to contaminate a 20-acre lake.
While mercury’s toxicity in aquatic
environments is well documented, the

A bill recently introduced by Rep. Diane Watson (CA-32) would prohibit the placement of mercury amalgam fillings in pregnant women and children under 18 by July 1, 2002, and ban the use of dental mercury for all patients by 2007.

The bill’s introduction was prompted by data that mercury amalgam could adversely affect patient health if inhaled during the filling procedure or as the filling erodes over time and by the public health threats associated with mercury amalgam disposal.

Mercury is an acute neurotoxin that converts to its most toxic form, methyl mercury, in water. Methyl mercury contam nation in fish tissue has given rise to a U.S. Food and Drug Administration consumer advisory that warns pregnant women and women of child earing age to avoid consumption of 4 fish species.

The California Department of Toxic Substances Control reported that 180 pounds of mercury from dental offices are released into California’s waters each year. Just one gram of mercury is enough to contaminate a 20-acre lake. While mercury’s toxicity in aquatic environments is well documented, thehealth effects of mercury dental fillings have been under debate.

PSR-LA is calling for further study of links between dental mercury amalgam and nervous system damage, as well as other potential risks.

Add a Comment

You must be logged in to post a comment