Your Teeth May Be Poisoning Your Water

Environmentalists Urge Connecticut to Ban Use of Dental Mercury

May 26, 2005, 01:00 ET from Consumers for Dental Choice

    HARTFORD, Conn., May 26 /PRNewswire/ -- Mercury from human teeth poisons
 Connecticut waterways, experts said today, urging the state to recognize that,
 under current law, dentists are banned from using this deadly neurotoxin.
     "The purpose of the state's anti-mercury law is clear -- elimination of
 the discharge of mercury into our environment," said Kathleen Bailey, chair of
 the Coalition to Enforce Connecticut's Zero Mercury Law.  "Here is a perfect
 opportunity for the state to take the lead in ridding our environment of this
 toxic metal."
     Consumers for Dental Choice, long time advocates of a ban on mercury
 fillings, announced that it has retained the law firm Brown Rudnick Berlack
 Israels LLP ( to assist in demonstrating that
 current state law, Public Act 02-90, bans mercury amalgam.
     Brown Rudnick is a multi-national law firm with over 200 lawyers in
 Hartford, Connecticut, and Boston, New York, Providence, Washington, D.C., and
 London.  Brown Rudnick has a long history of representation of public interest
 groups, such as the Consumers for Dental Choice.  Brown Rudnick represented
 the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and other New England states in the
 successful litigation against the tobacco industry.
     Two attorneys from the law firm will head a legal team representing the
 Washington-based advocacy organization:
      * Atty. Douglas A. Cohen, from the firm's Hartford Office, is a former
        attorney for the federal Environmental Protection Agency and the U. S.
        Department of Justice.  He has practiced environmental law for over 25
        years and is a leader in the national environmental legal practice.
      * Atty. Nancy B. Reiner, from the firm's Boston office, was a lead
        attorney in recent successful litigation against the tobacco industry.
        She represented Massachusetts, Maine, New Hampshire and Rhode Island in
        part of the litigation against the tobacco industry that resulted in a
        $206 billion settlement in 1998.  Recently, Ms. Reiner represented the
        City of Boston in litigation against the gun industry.
     Others urging the state to ban mercury fillings include Dr. Boyd Haley
 chair of the Chemistry Department at the University of Kentucky, Michael
 Bender, head of the Vermont-based Mercury Policy Project, and Dr. Dean Bass,
 technical director at Doctor's Data, West Chicago, Ill., a national medical
 sample testing laboratory.
     Dr. Bass said that he conducted a study of human fecal samples that shows
 people with mercury fillings excrete 10 times more mercury than people with no
 mercury fillings.
     "Our research shows that in Connecticut alone, humans are excreting nearly
 100 pounds of mercury every year," Dr. Bass said.
     Gina McCarthy, commissioner of the state Department of Environmental
 Protection, today begins analysis of the law to determine whether it bans
 dentists from using the silver-colored mercury fillings.  The DEP will accept
 written comments until June 9, 2005 and has announced that her decision will
 be rendered by mid-October.
     Public Act 02-90 states that after July 1, 2004, products with 250 parts
 per million of mercury can no longer be sold in Connecticut.  So-called
 "silver" dental fillings contain 500,000 parts per million of mercury.  Each
 filling has about 3/4 of a gram of mercury, the same as a mercury thermometer,
 also banned under the statute.  Mercury is a known toxin that causes brain
 damage and a host of other medical problems.

SOURCE Consumers for Dental Choice