Consumers and Dentists Applaud Dr. Oz for raising awareness about dental mercury; Calls on FDA to keep its promise to act on amalgam by end of 2011 (sic)

WASHINGTON, April 2, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Consumers for Dental Choice applauds Dr. Oz for raising public awareness about dental mercury in the groundbreaking episode "Are Your Silver Fillings making You Sick?".  The consumer group, which leads the international campaign for mercury-free dentistry, calls on the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) to keep the promise it made in September 2011 to make an announcement on amalgam by the end of that year [minute 3:14, et seq., on video].

Dental amalgam is a primitive filling material that contains 50% mercury.  But according to Zogby polls, over 76% of dental consumers do not know that amalgam is primarily mercury.  A significant percentage believes amalgam is mainly silver, as in "silver fillings" – the misleading term still commonly used.

"We commend Dr. Oz and his guests for explaining the serious problem of mercury in dental amalgam," says Charlie Brown, national counsel, Consumers for Dental Choice.  "Now it is time for FDA to step up and do its job: educate the public about the risks of dental amalgam – especially for children and pregnant women."

In December 2010, an FDA science advisory panel repeatedly warned about the risks of using amalgam in children and pregnant women. The panelists told FDA there is "no place for mercury in children."  Canada and Australia both issued warnings against using amalgam in children and pregnant women over a decade ago.  Sweden and Norway ban the use of amalgam.  

On September 22, 2011, Dr. Jeff Shuren, Director of FDA's Center for Devices and Radiological Health, promised that FDA would act in response to the panel's warnings: "We will by the end of the year, we will make an announcement."  There was never any announcement.  Fully 450 days after its own self-imposed deadline, FDA has done nothing to protect children and pregnant women from dental mercury.

"It is heartbreaking that today - in 2013 - mercury is still used to fill some children's teeth," said Virginia dentist Richard D. Fischer.  "How any informed health care practitioner might dismiss the risks that mercury poses to a child's developing central nervous system is baffling."

Contact: Charles Brown, +1-202-544-6333, charlie@toxicteeth.org

SOURCE Consumers for Dental Choice



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