[MERCURIADOS]

 
 

DECLARACIÓN-PROPUESTA DE MERCURIADOS en INC5 (Ginebra, 13-18 enero 2013)

MERCURIADOS-Declaracion-Final-Amalgamas INC5 Ginebra 18.1.13

 

 

Abajo, la propuesta inicial

 

www.mercuriados.org

 

5th Mercury Intergovernmental Negotiating Committee (INC5), to achieve a global legally binding instrument on mercury with the goal of signing an International Mercury Treaty. Geneva, Switzerland, 13th to 18th January 2013.

 

 

 

STATEMENT-PROPOSAL by MERCURIADOS NGO (Spain)

 

 

 

Mr. President, Fernando Lugrís; United Nations Environmental Programme representatives; European Union representatives; World Health Organisation representatives, International Labour Organisation representatives; Dental Organisations representatives; delegates of countries that will sign the International Mercury Treaty, NGOs and other organisations, Mass Media, Ladies and Gentlemen:

 

 

 

My name is Servando Pérez-Domínguez. I am the president of MERCURIADOS NGO (Asociación Española de Afectados por Mercurio de Amalgamas Dentales y Otras Situaciones – www.mercuriados.org), a national Spanish association of patients injured by dental amalgam mercury and by mercury from other sources.  Although it is a very polemic issue, and that most medical doctors have not had the training in the Faculties of Medicine to diagnose, nor treat, chronic mercury poisoned people, some of these patients in Spain, and other patients in other countries, had and have official recognition by public doctors/health authorities of being chronic mercury poisoned (by fish, by their work exposure to mercury and by dental amalgam fillings, like it happens in my case[1].

 

 

 

MERCURIADOS and many other NGOs, plus independent scientists, totally agree[2] with the words expressed, in June 2010, to the Uruguayan journal EL PAÍS digital (www.elpais.com.uy/100607/ultmo-493794/ultimomomento/Uruguay-preside-Comite-de-Negociaciones-de-ONU) by the Uruguayan Environment Secretary Jorge Patrone: "Tratar de que el mercurio quede bajo tierra, que es donde está. Que no se utilice en ningún procedimiento, ni industrial ni terapéutico, por la gravedad que tiene. Ese es el objetivo final, lo cual implica una revolución en muchas áreas". "Gastan más después en solucionar temas de salud que en lo que se ahorraron con la utilización del mercurio". ("To try that mercury remains underground, which is where it is [well, not dangerous]. To try that mercury is not used in any process, either industrial or therapeutic, because of its seriousness. That is the ultimate goal, which implies a revolution in many areas". "They spend more money later to solve health problems in comparison with the money that it was saved using mercury").

 

 

 

MERCURIADOS NGO has (1) a STATEMENT-PROPOSAL to do to the ones that have the power to make this Mercury Treaty a useful global mercury instrument for the good of the environment, the health and the economy of current and future generations. In order to explain and to defend the statement-proposal we give (2) reasons to back the statement-proposal (perhaps some of the most 10 important reasons to support it).

 

 

 

1.     MERCURIADOS STATEMENT-PROPOSAL is called “IT’S TIME TO BAN DENTAL AMALGAM”. 

 

 

 

It’s no time for political correctness but for political action.  We, victims of dental mercury (and victims of other products and processes that contain/use mercury) have no time to wait any longer. We are tired of ambiguities, to say the least.  We, victims of the mercury grim[1], must directly talk about banning (forbid) the use of mercury in products and processes, including in dentistry and in vaccines.  We mean ban and we say ban, and also we ask that, in the meantime of a dental mercury ban, as it happened with mercury used in pesticides, prior Informed Consent should be compulsory for any placement of dental amalgams in any country[2], because current and future mercury victims deserve it, and language must be clear and proactive, and actions surplus language.  The time for excuses is over, and the only impediment for banning mercury in dentistry, etc. would be to have, or not, the political will that won’t succumb to pressures, half truths, lies.  Other reasoning, at least for the European Union (which also banned mercury thermometers and mercury sphygmomanometers) would only be mere excuses[3]. Because of the harm that created, creates, and will create, the mercury in dental fillings should have never been allowed[4], or at least should had been banned already in 1843 when the ASDS-American Society of Dental Surgeons declared the use of amalgams to be malpractice[5], and in 1845 the Mississippi Valley Association of Dental Surgeons resolved that the use of amalgam fillings was unprofessional and injurious and would not be countenanced by its members, or should have been banned in the 1970s when studies demonstrated that a small amount of mercury vapor was constantly being released from amalgam fillings (corroborating the first such study published in 1882 in the Ohio State Journal of Dental Science by Dr. Eugene S. Talbot - Talbot E.S., "The chemistry and physiological action of mercury as used in amalgam fillings", The Ohio State J. Dent. Sci., 2(1):1-12, 1882), or, at the latest, banned in 1984 when the American Dental Association stopped saying that mercury was bound in amalgam and did not release mercury vapor...  Safer alternative dental materials exist for long.

 

 

 

On thing cannot be black and miraculously became white, or vice versa.  If mercury is black is black, and if it’s white it’s white.  If mercury does not have a security threshold, and it is dangerous in fish, batteries, ophthalmic and skin products, paintings, thermometers and the like, etc., thus, it is impossible that could be ‘safe’ to place, store, it in people’s mouths.

 

 

 

Invertimos ingentes cantidades de dinero (pagado con los impuestos de todos los ciudadanos) para 'gestionar' el mercurio dental (filtros en las clínicas dentales que ponen/retiran amalgamas --que además generalmente no son obligatorios--, filtros donde se creman cadáveres con amalgamas dentales, transportar y almacenar el Hg que generan las clínicas dentales, descontaminar (mejor o peor) lo contaminado por ese mercurio. ¿Y cómo descontaminar el pescado, el marisco, las algas, las tierras, los mares, ríos, lagos, océanos, los acuíferos subterráneos, la atmósfera... contaminada con Hg? ¿Dónde queda el Principio de Precaución, que afirma que es mejor —y más barato para todos, incluido el paciente, claro— prevenir que curar?

 

 

 

PROPUESTAS CONCRETAS:

 

 

 

1. Que el Tratado obligue (a los Ministerios de Sanidad de los países donde se siguen utilizando amalgamas dentales, así como a la OMS, a la OIT, a las organizaciones y profesionales dentales) a que se informe fehacientemente (también vía Consentimiento Informado) a todos los ciudadanos que las llamadas amalgamas de 'plata' contienen mercurio[3] y que la única cantidad segura de Hg en el cuerpo es cero, al tiempo que, una vez informados, se obligue a los ciudadanos que quieran obturar sus caries con amalgamas dentales a firmar un documento legal por el cual eximen de toda responsabilidad legal-sanitaria a los profesionales que le pongan o retiren amalgamas dentales.

 

 

 

2. Being realistic (and trying to forget the urgency, we, the Hg victims, have for a ban of the, non adverted, use of Hg in dentistry), and given the still huge use of dental mercury amalgams in dentistry, therefore the huge infrastructure created around these type of dental fillings, MERCURIADOS proposes to ban dental amalgam fillings for children and pregnant women by 2018; and globally by 2021. But, of course, any country, anywhere (as it happened already with Norway, Sweden and Denmark), is free to get rid of mercury in dentistry before those dates.  The mercury victims encourage countries to ban Hg in dentistry as soon as possible for the good of the environment, for the good of health and for the good of people's and countries economies.

 

 

 

3. En el entretanto de esa prohibición:

 

 

 

3.1. Que, en honor a la verdad, el Tratado Internacional sobre Mercurio obligue a los Estados a tomar las medidas necesarias para que en las Facultades de Odontología se explique la Historia real de las amalgamas dentales: prohibición de usar amalgamas dentales por parte de miembros de la asociación dental estadounidense ASDS, artículo del dentista Talbot ya en 1882 señalando la evaporación de mercurio de amalgamas dentales, caso Degussa en el que miles de intoxicados por mercurio dental ganan demanda global en Alemania, Chemist Dr. Albert Stock position against dental amalgamas, position against dental amalgamas of Toxicologist Prof. Max Daunderer, etc. (se mencionan numerosos casos de personas que han visto afectada su salud por el mercurio dental). Asimismo, tenemos documentos públicos que reconocen oficialmente intoxicaciones mercuriales crónicas por amalgamas dentales y, como ya dije en lo remitido al comité SCENIHR de la Comisión Europea en octubre de 2012, que ha decidido volver a evaluar la 'seguridad' de las amalgamas dentales (Dental Amalgam - Call for Information http://ec.europa.eu/health/scientific_committees/consultations/calls/scenihr_call_info_16_en.htm), me presto a cualquier investigación sobre mi caso.

 

 

 

3.2. Que, en base al principio de quien contamina paga, el Tratado Internacional sobre Mercurio obligue a las clínicas dentales, así como a los dentistas, donde se continúen poniendo amalgamas dentales. a pagar un canon que servirá para ayudar económicamente a los afectados por amalgamas dentales.

 

 

 

3.3. Que, en base a la libertad de cátedra y el criterio profesional individual, el Tratado Internacional sobre Mercurio obligue a las organizaciones dentales y colegios profesionales dentales que siguen promoviendo el uso de Hg en la odontología (a pesar de existir alternativas dentales menos tóxicas —también libres de bisfenol A—, que pueden durar tanto o más que las amalgamas dentales, como el A.R.T. o PRAT, promovido por la propia OMS para países en vías de desarrollo) a que dejen de presionar/demandar (incluso con la amenaza de retirarle la licencia por mala praxis!) a los dentistas que recomienden la retirada de amalgamas y señalen materiales alternativos o directamente procedan a la extracción de las muelas cariadas.

 

 

 

3.4. Que, en base al principio básico del derecho a la protección de la salud y el derecho al restablecimiento de la salud, el Tratado Internacional sobre Mercurio obligue a los Estados a dar-gestionar los tratamientos médicos que precisen los afectados-intoxicados por mercurio dental, incluso en la sanidad privada, mientras no existan tratamientos (quelantes-reparadores) adecuados (para las intoxicaciones crónicas por mercurio dental) en la sanidad pública.

 

 

 

Reflexión:  

 

 

 

- MERCURIADOS se solidariza con las víctimas de Minamata y todas las demás víctimas del uso (y abuso) de mercurio en productos y procesos.

 

- Aunque no existieran alternativas dentales a las amalgamas, eso no debería impedir que se deje YA de emplear Hg en la odontología, pues sería infinitamente MEJOR extraer directamente las muelas cariadas que correr el riesgo INADMISIBLE de ver afectada la salud por culpa de materiales dentales que contienen Hg. Yo era deportista de competición, daba clase e investigaba en una universidad española, y todo eso (y mucho más) me lo truncó el Hg dental. Repito, y yo no he sido, soy ni, por desgracia, seré el único y último afectado por mercurio dental mientras este se ponga, inadvertidamente, en las bocas de las personas. Simple y llanamente, NO HAY DERECHO A ESO.  El DERECHO A LA INFORMACIÓN ES UN DERECHO FUNDAMENTAL.

 

 

 

 

 

2.     REASONS TO BACK MERCURIADOS STATEMENT-PROPOSAL:

 

 

 

Not everyone who smoke cigarettes die because of smoking cigarettes, but at least they know that to smoke can harm his/her health. The minimum that must be done (the relevant health authorities and the dentist that plans to place a dental mercury amalgam) is reporting that dental amalgams contain mercury (you cannot make informed choices without information, without informed consent).

 

 

 

Thus, It’s Time to Ban Dental Amalgam because:

 

 

 

1.    El mercurio es una toxina multipotente que altera la dinámica bioquímica de la célula, es un potente inmunosupresor y corrosivo de mucosas, y es la sustancia más tóxica después de los materiales radiactivos;

 

2.    No existe umbral de seguridad para el mercurio, por lo que cualquier cantidad de mercurio puede resultar tóxica para algunos individuos; Also, the European Parliament stressed the growing number of people affected by Dental Amalgam Syndrome in its Resolution of the 4th September 2008 on the midterm review of the European Environment and Health Action Plan 2004-2010 (2007/2252(INI) (www.europarl.europa.eu/sides/getDoc.do?pubRef=-//EP//TEXT+TA+P6-TA-2008-0410+0+DOC+XML+V0//EN -- see letter J., which says:  J. whereas these problematic developments in environmental health have been accompanied in recent years by the emergence of new diseases or syndromes, such as multiple chemical hypersensibility, dental-amalgam syndrome, hypersensitivity to electromagnetic radiation, sick-building syndrome and attention-deficit and hyperactivity syndrome in children”.

 

3.    Hay personas alérgicas al mercurio y que las amalgamas dentales también pueden dar lugar a electrogalvanismo oral;

 

4.    El mercurio puede afectar a la salud de personas y ecosistemas;

 

5.    Diversos expertos desde 1882 [Talbot E.S., "The chemistry and physiological action of mercury as used in amalgam fillings", The Ohio State J. Dent. Sci., 2(1):1-12, 1882)], la propia Asociación Dental Americana desde 1984, así como la OMS (1976, 1990, 1991, 2003, 2005, 2007, 2010…) han señalado que se evapora mercurio constantemente de las amalgamas dentales (no sólo durante la colocación y remoción de las mismas) y que esta evaporación aumenta con factores tales como desgaste dental, caries bajo amalgamas, tomar bebidas/comidas calientes y/o ácidas, mascar chicle habitualmente, etc.;

 

6.    Los costes sociosanitarios y medioambientales (por tanto, también económicos) del uso del mercurio (dental, etc.) son inmensos;

 

7.    Pueden afectar a la salud de algunos pacientes y trabajadores dentales;

 

8.    Existen alternativas dentales menos tóxicas; y aún el caso de que nos las hubiera, al menos el paciente debería, en primer lugar, recibir la información de la composición del material/es con el que el dentista pretende obturar sus caries.

 

9.    Según el documento de política general de la OMS de 2005 (www.who.int/water_sanitation_health/medicalwaste/mercurio_es.pdf): “En 1991, la Organización Mundial de la Salud confirmó que el mercurio presente en el amalgama dental es la fuente no industrial más importante de emisión de vapor de mercurio, exponiendo a la población afectada a niveles de mercurio que superan con creces los establecidos para los alimentos y para el aire (…). Según un informe presentado a la Comisión OSPAR, en el Reino Unido, el vertido de mercurio en el alcantarillado, la atmósfera o la tierra procedente de la amalgama dental asciende a 7.41 toneladas al año, mientras que otras 11,5 toneladas se reciclan o se eliminan con la corriente de desechos médicos. En conjunto, el mercurio contenido en el amalgama dental y en los dispositivos de laboratorio y médicos representa alrededor del 53% del total de las emisiones de este metal” (p. 1-2);

 

10.           En palabras del Prof. Dr. Maths Berlin[4] [see Berlin, M. (2004). Mercury in dental amalgam. A risk analysis. SMDJ Seychelles Medical and Dental Journal, Special Issue, Vol 7, No 1, November - http://intoxmetauxtraces.free.fr/article%20maths%20berlin.pdf]: Mercury vapour released from dental amalgam is the predominant source of mercury in the human adult and foetal central nervous system in populations of developed countries. Only in small populations with high consumption of methyl mercury containing fish can the contribution from fish consumption reach or surpass that of amalgam fillings” (…) “It is recommended that use of amalgam for dental restorations is abandoned and substituted with available less toxic material…           Desde el momento en que la amalgama fue introducida para realizar empastes dentales, surgió la preocupación ante el hecho de que la toxicidad del mercurio pudiese dar lugar a inaceptables riesgos para la salud. (…) La incidencia respecto a los efectos adversos más habituales se estima en un 1% The incidence of common side effects is typically around 1%. This amounts to 10 000 patients in a population of 1 million amalgam bearers, a sizeable health problem. (Abstract. p. 154).

 

 

 

MERCURIADOS fully agrees with the African NGO and Civil Society Mercury Statement, made in December 2012, and presented during the INC5. It is encouraging for the mercury (avoidable) victims that the statement not only refers to the harmful effects of Hg in the environment, but also in human health (“This is not just an environmental Treaty, but a global mercury Treaty”, MERCURIADOS likes to say). It’s then not an unrealistic but an ambitious statement, which can be achieved if good political will is stronger than pressures.  "We demand a holistic, not limited only to financial compensation to victims but also to include safe bio-remediation and detoxification of people’s bodies as well as ongoing social services support and alternative sustainable livelihood. It is further required that multi-generation follow-up be carried out".

 

 

 

Everybody (governments, W.H.O., U.N.E.P., I.L.O., patient and scientist organisations, mass media, all citizents) MUST understand that the different products and processes using mercury are a REAL and GROWING threat for the ecosystem health and people's health. Safer, and sometimes even cheaper, alternatives exist. The food and seafood we eat (mainly fish) contain more and more mercury that makes more and more people ill, and it has an avoidable economic cost too. Thus, there is NO (scientific, environmental, health, economic and even moral) REASON to continue using mercury as if alternatives do not exist. It's also time to inform citizens, worldwide, of products containing mercury (dental amalgams, some vaccines, some lamps, etc.), and the alternatives, so that they can decide by themselves.  LACK OF INFORMATION IS LACK OF FREEDOM. And LACK OF CLEAR COMMITMENT-ACTION (particularly on the part of national and international/world health organisations, and governments) WOULD BE UNFORGETABLE AND UNFORGIVABLE.  We cannot, we should not, DEFEND THE UNDEFENDABLE.

 

 

 

 

 

Servando Pérez-Domínguez

(MERCURIADOS president).

INC5, Geneva.

 

 

 

For those wishing to support this statement-proposal, please contact servando@mercuriados.org 

 

 

 

 

 



[1]  It is highly recommended to read the recent paper —10th January 2013—, signed by George Monbiot, about lead, called “The grime behind the crime”.  As Eric Uram (Executive Director of SafeMinds) said: “The lead issue parallels mercury in the science and the need for change”.

[2]  Mercury compounds used as pesticides are subject to the Rotterdam Convention on

the Prior Informed Consent Procedure for Certain Hazardous Chemicals and

Pesticides in International Trade. This is implemented in the Community by

Regulation (EC) No. 304/2003 [Regulation (EC) No. 304/2003 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 28 January 2003 concerning the export and import of dangerous chemicals, OJ L 63, 6.3.2003], which also bans export of cosmetic soaps containing mercury and requires export notification of mercury compounds for all other uses”. (p. 5 of the 2005 Community Strategy Concerning Mercury).

 

[3]  Mainly since 2000, EU waste legislation points at the dangers of mercury and dental mercury [Commission Decision(2000/532/EC) of 3 May 2000 replacing Decision 94/3/EC establishing a list of wastes pursuant to Article 1(a) of Directive 75/442 on waste and Council Decision94/904 establishing a list of hazardous waste pursuant to Article 1(4) of Council Directive 91/689EEC on hazardous waste, OJ L226/3, 6.9.2000 (as amended)]. Then, in 2005, a Community Strategy Concerned Mercury was established (COMMUNICATION FROM THE COMMISSION TO THE COUNCIL AND THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT. Community Strategy Concerning Mercury - http://eur-lex.europa.eu/LexUriServ/site/en/com/2005/com2005_0020en01.pdf), saying, among other things, that “The largest source of mercury exposure for most people in developed countries is inhalation of mercury vapour from dental amalgam“ (…) "Some Member States identify dental amalgam as a significant source of mercury releases, including via dental surgeries and cremation. Treatment of dental amalgam waste is covered by Community waste law. Action 4. The Commission will review in 2005 Member States’ implementation of Community requirements on the treatment of dental amalgam waste, and will take appropriate steps thereafter to ensure correct application”.  HOWEVER, we are already in 2013 and nothing else but voluntary actions take place regarding the dental amalgam problem. And that in spite of dental amalgam is the second biggest use of mercury in the EU.  Believe it or not, the European Commission Decision 2000/532/EC6 [OJ L226/3 of 6/9/2000] characterises amalgam waste from dental care as hazardous waste (and it is therefore subject to the provisions of the Waste Framework Directive [Directive 2008/98/EC, OJ L312/3 of 22.11.2008]), BUT the EU allows to place this “hazardous waste” in people’s mouths. Let’s not forget either that this EU Directive also derives from the Commission Decision of 20 December 1993 (94/3/EC) establishing a list of wastes, and this Commission Decision derives from a Council Directive 75/442/EEC of 15 July 1975 on waste (http://eur-lex.europa.eu/smartapi/cgi/sga_doc?smartapi!celexplus!prod!CELEXnumdoc&numdoc=31994D0003&lg=en).  Yes, 1975! Also the installation of amalgam separators is not compulsory in all EU Member States. Moreover, “Mercury emissions from dental cabinets are also subject to EU water legislation. Mercury is classified as priority hazardous substance according to Annex X of the Water Framework Directive (WFD) [Directive 2000/60/EC, OJ L327 of 22.12.2000], thus Member States are obliged in the long term to take measures to cease or phase out the emissions, discharges and losses of this substance. In addition and reflecting the combined approach of the WFD, Directive 2008/105/EC [OJ L348/89 of 24.12.2008] establishes Environmental Quality Standards in the field of water policy for certain priority substances including mercury and its compounds. In case these standards are not met, Member States have to take measures to comply with them as foreseen by Article 11 of WFD” (p. 4 of the COMMUNICATION FROM THE COMMISSION TO THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT AND THE COUNCIL on the review of the Community Strategy Concerning Mercury of 7.12.2010 - http://eur-lex.europa.eu/LexUriServ/LexUriServ.do?uri=COM:2010:0723:FIN:EN:PDF).

 

[4]  By the way, dental mercury amalgams were widely introduced in the marked in the 1830s, despite NEVER EVER proved its safety!  And, thus, all government and health authorities since then are responsible for allowing that.

[5]  The ASDS was the biggest dental association in the world at that time, before being substituted by the ADA-American Dental Association that promoted, and promotes, the use of mercury in dentistry as “safe”.

 



[1]  Before being mercury poisoned, I was a university teacher and researcher.  I also was a sport rowing competition who was a health person (not even flu, not even a headache).  But all these tasks, all this future, had to stop.  At the end of 2004 I had to finish my teaching (very important lack of concentration and memory, too tired, too much pain, etc.) and it was recognised that I had/have a Permanent Disability derived from the multiple sequelae caused by my chronic Hg poisoning. However, Spain’s health authorities have not helped me, nor other patients with chronic mercury poisoning, to do the necessary Hg detox treatment. Already being ill, in 2006, I started as a Medicine student at the Faculty of Medicine of the University of Santiago de Compostela, but could not continue because my deteriorating health outweighed my good intention of, at any cost, to try to continue these studies.

The mercury poisoning can give rise to other health problems, such as Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, Mitochondrial Myopathy, Multiple Chemical Sensitivities, Fibromyalgia, Electro Hypersensitivity, plus many other neuropsychological, digestive, renal-urogenital, dermatological, respiratory, ophthalmological, osteoarticular and muscular, endocrine and metabolic, ENT (Ear, Nose and Throat) diseases (in some cases also officially diagnosed as derived from dental amalgams or other mercury sources, in combination, or not, with other toxic substances). By the way, some of these mercury patients are also doctors and dentists, because even they were not well informed or were not informed at all.  There are many (hundreds) of terrible, painful, distressing, agonizing cases of mercury patients in MERCURIADOS; millions all over the world (since according to a number of researchers, including the toxicologist Prof. Dr. Maths Berlin, about one out of one hundred of those who receive dental mercury fillings could have side effects).  If not all, most of these cases could have been totally avoidable.

It is good to remember, here and everywhere, that mercury, in all it’s forms (metallic-elementary, inorganic and organic, is a highly toxic substance, the most poisonous substance on Earth after radioactive elements, it evaporates at room temperature, is biocide (against life), is an immunosuppressive substance, irritates the mucous membranes (including the gastrointestinal mucosa, whose disruption leads to multiple pathologies), alters the biochemical cells functions, etc.  It is, therefore, nothing that the body needs, even at trace amounts. In fact, it has no safety threshold, so even ‘safe’ exposures could cause health problems to a number of people, even very healthy people (not only foetuses and children, pregnant women, persons with kidney or liver problems, etc.). Accordingly, mercury is highly dangerous to the environment, or ecosystems’ health, and dangerous to human health.

[2]  For example, in 2009, hundreds organisations reacted and even made a Statement rejecting FDA’s classification of dental amalgams simply as “moderate risk” (http://dentistry.about.com/b/2009/08/06/reaction-to-the-fdas-mercury-classification-not-surprising.htm, C:UsersServandoDownloadsReactions 28.July.2009 FDA AmalgamClassification--PressRelease 1.August.2009.pdf); in 2010, we addressed a Petition to European Union representatives called “STOP DENTAL MERCURY” (http://win.infoamica.it/engart.asp?a=11&sa=0&art=402) which was supported by some one hundred NGOs, and other organisations and scientists, and signed by thousands of individuals.

[3]  A 2006 Zogby International poll of 2,590 US adults found that 72% of respondents were not aware that mercury was a main component of dental amalgam and 92% of respondents would prefer to be told about mercury in dental amalgam before receiving it as a filling.[15] A 1993 study published in FDA Consumer found that 50% of Americans believed fillings containing mercury caused health problems.[16] Some dentists (including a member of the FDA's Dental Products Panel) suggest that there is an obligation to inform patients that amalgam contains mercury.[17][18]

[4]  Maths Berlin is a Professor Emeritus and famous toxicologist with long experience of the effects of mercury on animals and humans. He chaired the W.H.O. Task Group on Environmental Health Criteria for Inorganic Mercury (WHO Environmental Health Criteria 118, 1991) and a similar group with the function of drawing up health criteria for methylmercury.

 

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EXTRA INFO ABOUT DENTAL ALTERNATIVES TO AMALGAM MERCURY FILLINGS:

Apart from health and environmental reasons to ban the use of mercury in dentistry, there are many economic reasons too (including the costs of medical treatment --sometimes just palliative--, labour costs for those Hg injured who can't work or that can work less, costs of hospital/health centres stays, tests, doctor visits, lower job and academic performance --intellectual cost--, less/no productivity to society, etc.). The excuse that alternative materials to amalgam are of lower quality and/or that may involve greater risk than dental amalgam is simply fallacious and mendacious. About this, "It is often claimed by proponents of dental amalgam that the cost of amalgam is lower than that of composites. This begs the obvious question, “Why does composite cost more?” (There are a number of mercury-free alternative filling materials that are used. Composites, professionally known as “resin-based composite materials,” or RBC, are the most common). This paper demonstrates that while the cost of the materials and related equipment is slightly higher for composite than for amalgam, the vast majority of the cost differential is due to the increased time it takes for the average dentist to place a typical composite filling in a rear tooth. Even dentists who have relatively little experience placing composite fillings report that they are able to place composite in a front tooth in less time than amalgam, while those with more extensive experience using composites say the time difference to place fillings in rear teeth may also be largely eliminated. (Nearly half of all practitioners appear to have abandoned the use of amalgam altogether. Ref. http://thewealthydentist.com/survey/surveyresults/16_MercuryAmalgam_Results.htm). Nevertheless, assuming that the average composite filling will remain more expensive to the patient than the average amalgam for the foreseeable future, the “cost” justification for favouring the amalgam option is suspect for several reasons:

·First, in many cases the patient does not pay for dental care. Public health clinics, Medicaid providers and other healthcare providers (Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), Indian Health Service, Military Dental Services, the Office of Dentistry in the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, etc.) offering services for which the cost of care is borne by the taxpayer rather than the patient would clearly not experience a decline in patient numbers if amalgam were no longer available.

· Second, a composite filling is, on average, more expensive than amalgam (for fillings in rear teeth) only if one goes by the commercial fee charged by the dentist. However, when one considers as well the additional costs to the environment and human health of using mercury in dental fillings —“external” costs that are ultimately borne by society— the real cost of amalgam becomes more clear". (p. 5 of http://iaomt.guiadmin.com/wp-content/uploads/Real_cost_of_Dental_Mercury_April_2012-FINAL1.pdf).

 

"Potential hazards of mercury-free filling materials

One occasionally hears that the filling materials used in place of amalgam may have their own risks. In general, EU health authorities and dental associations have concluded that the use of non-metallic restoration materials is safe for patients (including pregnant woman and children), as well as for dental health professionals.

Some resin-based filling materials contain bisphenol A (BPA), a known endocrine disruptor. Researchers have concluded that BPA exposure from composite resins is considerably lower than tolerable daily intake values specified by Health Canada, the USEPA and the EU Scientific Committee for Food, and do not present a significant risk for adverse health effects (Richardson et al. 1999; SCENIHR 2008; Van Landuyt et al. 2011). Moreover, composite resins without BPA are widely available and, according to the American Dental Association, BPA is an increasingly rare ingredient in alternative filling materials (ADA 2010).

One key advantage of mercury-free restoration techniques is that they leave more intact natural tooth tissue as compared with dental amalgam restoration. While the use of dental amalgam tends to weaken the tooth structure (due to the removal of substantial healthy tooth tissue), alternative materials tend to prolong the life of the tooth beyond what may be expected from amalgam. WHO recently confirmed that preserving the tooth structure and improving the survival of the tooth is imperative (WHO 2010).

Due to the concerns sometimes expressed that there may yet be minimal unknown risks associated with the use of mercury-free filling materials, for the purpose of this analysis it is assumed that any such risks are more than offset by the significant benefits of retaining more of the natural tooth structure.

(…) it is clear that the real cost of using amalgam far outweighs the cost of using mercury-free composite, not to mention an even cheaper alternative such as ART". (p. 46 of http://iaomt.guiadmin.com/wp-content/uploads/Real_cost_of_Dental_Mercury_April_2012-FINAL1.pdf).

 

 

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