LOS ANGELES, Nov. 5 /PRNewswire/ -- Congresswoman Diane Watson (D-Los
Angeles) announced today that she is introducing a bill that will warn
consumers about the risks of Mercury in dental fillings and phase out the use
of Mercury in dentistry over five years.
The bill is the first legislation on the federal level to address the
issue of Mercury in dental fillings. So-called "silver" fillings are composed
mainly of Mercury, a highly toxic material. California and several other
states have recently enacted laws that address the health risks of Mercury.
"Today, I am announcing legislation to disclose and phase-out the last
major use of Mercury in the human body," said Congresswoman Watson. "The
fillings that most of us know as 'silver' are mainly composed of Mercury, not
silver. Mercury is an acute neuro-toxin. It is the most toxic
non-radioactive element and the most volatile heavy metal. It's time to
remove Mercury from the practice of dentistry."
"It is no longer a question of if, but when, Mercury dental fillings will
be history," said Charles G. Brown, the former West Virginia state Attorney
General and lead attorney for Consumers for Dental Choice in the national
fight to end the use of Mercury in dentistry. "Mercury has been -- or is
being -- removed from all other health care uses, including in thermometers,
vaccines and disinfectants. It is politically and medically untenable to be
removing Mercury from all other medical uses and at the same time continuing
to place it in peoples' mouths."
"I know from first hand experience the effect that Mercury fillings can
have on one's health," said Anita Vazquez-Tibau, a Consumers for Dental Choice
activist. The medical risks -- particularly to pregnant women and children --
are great, and we must stop the use of Mercury in the dental profession as
soon as possible."
In California over the past six months, the issue of Mercury-based dental
fillings has become a subject of major controversy (see coverage at
http://www.toxicteeth.net /). In June, consumer groups filed suit against the
American and California Dental Associations for deceptively calling
mercury-based fillings "silver" and for secretly accepting payments from
Mercury amalgam manufacturers while endorsing their product as safe.
In September the California Legislature voted to abolish the Dental Board
and replace it with an entirely new Board, largely because of its refusal for
nearly ten years to adopt a Fact Sheet that properly warned consumers of the
dangers of Mercury fillings. Governor Davis signed the bill into law earlier
this month (along with a bill outlawing Mercury thermometers), saying "Mercury
is a persistent and toxic pollutant that bioaccumulates in the environment."
For news coverage and further information: www.toxicteeth.net
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SOURCE Consumers for Dental Choice