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 European Commission Recommends Banning Mercury Fillings

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Posts : 7988
Join date : 2012-05-29
Location : Manchester UK

PostSubject: European Commission Recommends Banning Mercury Fillings   Sun 02 Sep 2012, 08:26

European Commission Recommends Banning Mercury Fillings

Elizabeth Renter
Activist Post

Just a few decades ago, it was completely common to go to the dentist
with a cavity or two and leave with several silver-colored fillings. And
while these fillings were frequently referred to as “silver,” dental
professionals were referring to the color, and certainly not the
contents. Those fillings are mercury, and they are highly toxic. Now,
about half of American dentists are mercury-free and the general
population is starting to take note on the dangers of the dental amalgam
mercury fillings in their mouths.

Mercury Fillings to be Banned Due to Health Hazards

The European Commission has paved the way, in recent weeks, for phasing
out dental mercury, but it seems the United States is not ready.

According to the Commission:
<blockquote class="tr_bq">Mercury and most of its compounds are highly
toxic to humans, animals and ecosystems. High doses can be fatal to
humans, but even relatively low doses can seriously affect the nervous
system and have been linked with possible harmful effects on the
cardiovascular, immune and reproductive systems.</blockquote>
Despite these devastating effects, even the E.U. stops short of
mentioning the specific dangers of mercury fillings, instead focusing on
the dangers of mercury in general.

But, if mercury can cause these problems when ingested, couldn’t it also
cause problems as it sits in your mouth, potentially giving off vapors
when damaged and leeching into your foods and saliva?

The procedures taken by trained dentists when removing these fillings is
sufficient evidence of the dangers of mercury amalgam fillings. They
must provide an alternate airflow for the patient, so they do not breath
the contaminated air from the mouth. A dam must be used to limit
swallowing and inhalation. Protective gear must be worn on the body and
face, and air purifiers are used. These precautions indicate a serious
risk is present.

But the United States has been ‘shockingly slow
to do anything to reduce the use of these mercury fillings,
particularly when compared with countries in Europe. Sweden has phased
out dental amalgam completely and this latest move by the E.U. indicates
it will soon be eliminated on the continent.

77 percent of Americans who are told their amalgam filling is mostly
mercury would opt for an alternative, and would be willing to pay more
for it. Resin composite fillings are more expensive, but are safe and
well worth the cost. When the external costs of mercury fillings are
considered (including damage to the environment and health care costs),
the alternative fillings aren’t much more expensive at all. Another way
to reduce costs and dentist visits? One simple solution to avoiding
these fillings altogether is to learn how to prevent cavities.

There is really nothing new about the dangers of mercury, or its high presence
in today’s society. It’s a highly toxic substance and science has
recognized this for some time. However, many maintain dental amalgam is
safe, despite research to the contrary. The good news is that the
European Commission’s action may pave the way for a similar closer look
by American officials– though we aren’t entirely hopeful, considering
the EU’s commitment to GMO labeling has not rubbed off on the U.S. at

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