HARTFORD, Conn., Aug. 9 /PRNewswire/ -- A survey conducted by Zogby
International shows Connecticut voters overwhelmingly want to ban dental
mercury (so-called "silver" fillings).
Zogby surveyed Connecticut voters in August and found:
* 87% support the law that prohibits the sale of mercury products in
* 79% did not know mercury is a primary ingredient in "silver" dental
* More than 80% support a ban on continued use of mercury fillings.
"These are startling numbers. This report should give both dental
professionals and their patients something to chew on," said John Zogby,
President and Chief Executive Officer of Zogby International.
"It is apparent that Connecticut voters genuinely care about what is being
put into our environment and they want to eliminate items that pollute," said
State Representative Richard Roy (D-Milford), Co-Chair of the Environment
Committee. "The message to both state legislator and regulator is clear: Get
dental mercury out of the environment. The numbers don't lie. I hope Gina
McCarthy (Commissioner of the State Department of Environmental Protection)
will take this information into consideration as she decides the fate of
dental mercury in Connecticut."
Among other highlights in the survey, voters said they are very concerned
about mercury in consumer products with 73% saying this issue was
"Connecticut needs to take action to reduce dental mercury emissions to
the environment," said Roger Smith, Campaign Director for Clean Water Action.
"If patients don't know that "silver" fillings are actually 50% mercury, they
won't be able to make informed decisions about their dental care or take steps
to reduce mercury use."
Environmentalists have criticized the Connecticut State Dental Association
and American Dental Association for continuing use of the misleading term,
"silver." This benign word has been used to mask the reality of what is being
put into the mouths of patients - and ultimately into the environment.
"The Zogby survey is clear evidence that people of this state incorrectly
believe that mercury fillings are silver," said Dr. Adam Breiner, spokesperson
for the Coalition to Enforce Connecticut's Zero-Mercury Law. "The survey also
suggests that voters believe what our coalition has been saying for months -
the state DEP should ban continued use of dental mercury."
More than 80% of the voters surveyed said they would be willing to pay
more for alternatives in order to keep mercury out of their mouths and out of
"Alternate filling materials have been available for years," Dr. Breiner
said. "These materials, such as tooth-colored composite resin, are only
slightly more expensive then mercury fillings but they are nontoxic and won't
hurt the environment."
"It is refreshing to see that the voters of this state see the irony of
this situation. The law was established to clean up our environment yet a
significant part of the problem has simply been ignored by many dentists --
health professionals who are supposed to be more conscious of these issues,"
said Dr. Mark A. Mitchell, President of the Connecticut Coalition for
"The point of laws like the Zero-Mercury law are to eliminate polluting
substances when there are viable non-toxic alternatives. In this case, we
know that composites can provide the alternative needed so the state can end
the use of unnecessary dental mercury," said Betty McLaughlin, one of the
Coalition organizers and the Director of Environmental Affairs for Connecticut
"This is not a political issue - this is about getting mercury out of our
environment so that our waterways and our air are cleaner for the generations
to come. Republicans and Democrats alike are coming together to show the DEP
that the people of Connecticut want this law to be enforced properly," said
T.R. Rowe (R-Trumbull).
SOURCE Consumers for Dental Choice