Context News

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Which delivers more mercury, dental amalgam or a tuna fish sandwich? G. Mark Richardson examines the various exposures to mercury from amalgam versus that of the recommended amount of tuna fish (EPA) and compares them to reference exposure levels to find out which presents more of a risk to human health.  
Website: Dr. Tom McGuire's Dental Wellness Institute Dr. Tom McGuire has been a mercury free and mercury safe, holistic dentist for over 30 years and is an innovator and leader in holistic dental wellness. For over 10 years he has researched mercury fillings and their effect on overall health. In addition to writing three popluar books on the subject, he runs the website Dentalwellness4u.com which is a vast resource of information on amalgam fillings, mercury toxicity and detoxification.
Videos of 2010 FDA Amalgam Hearing available for viewing A consumer activist, who attended the 2010 FDA hearings on amalgam safety, videotaped the event and has uploaded many important presentations from the hearings to the youtube channel, mercurymatters. Available videos include consumer safety organizations, scientists, mercury free dentists, injured consumers and dental staff.
Uses of Amalgam and Resin-Based Composites in Dental Education and Clinical Practice Resin-based composites have a number of advantages for restorative treatment. They possess desirable aesthetic properties and favor retention of sound tooth structure because they require less cavity preparation than traditional amalgam restorations. Recent clinical studies have demonstrated that composites can now match or exceed the longevity of amalgam.
Upcoming Documentary: Mercury Undercover Mercury Undercover exposes the cause and effect of the well-hidden evidence of mercury contamination as seen through the eyes of doctors,scientists, environmental experts and mercury-poisoned survivors. It is a gripping tale that will make you think twice before you eat your next catch-of-the-day or plan your next visit to the dentist’s office.In the course of this quest,we’ll hear from experts, doctors, scientists and mercury poisoning survivors.
UNEP publication: Mercury - A Priority For Action Mercury - A Priority For Action, a publication from The United Nations Environmental Program is intended to raise awareness amongst stakeholders of the effects of mercury on human health and the environment and on strategies to manage and control mercury. It is designed for the use of government officials and community leaders to provide information and raise awareness about mercury and the associated environment and health risks.
Understanding the ruling of Barnes v Kerr: Amalgam MSDS warnings also apply to mixed dental amalgam Dentist David Barnes, sued Kerr Corp., the largest manufacturer of dental amalgam in the United States, alleging that he had suffered a myriad of neurological injuries as a result of his occupational exposure to mercury. Dr. Barnes argued that Kerr's warnings were inadequate because they discussed only mercury, not mixed dental amalgam. Kerr argued that its warnings never represented that mercury was any less toxic when mixed.
Understanding Methyl Mercury and Mercury Vapor An essential argument in the anti-amalgam movement relates to the issue of human exposure to mercury vapor, a side-effect of "silver" dental amalgam fillings, which are actually 50% metallic mercury. The mercury vapor releaased is intensified by the number of fillings present and other activities associated with the human mouth, such as chewing, teeth-grinding and the consumption of hot liquids.
Toys made from amalgam Banned, but not dental fillings In this video Boyd Haley PhD tells a story about toys made from amalgam being banned by Canada, but not dental amalgam fillings.
The long awaited documentary Mercury Undercover is available now "Mercury Undercover" unveils the dirty truth about the dangers of mercury and how those people in power would love to "protect" you from the real truth. This compelling documentary brings light to a problem that affects more than you ever imagined. The director Elizabeth Hong and co-director Daniel Montoya are proud to announce the exclusive online release of the documentary.
The International Academy of Oral Medicine & Toxicology presentations to the FDA The International Academy of Oral Medicine and Toxicology, a scientific organization made up of dental, medical and research professionals submitted a petition for reconsideration to the FDA in 2009. This petition pointed out the inaccuracies, inconsistencies and flawed science the FDA relied upon, and urged them to reconsidertheir ruling. The FDA convened a new dental products panel meeting in December 2010, to re-evaluate the issues brought up in the petition for reconsideration.
The Doctors TV Show to Feature Amalgam Toxicity The link between dental mercury fillings and Multiple Sclerosis is examined in a nationally televised Interview on the hit TV Show THE DOCTORS. Featured in the show are Acclaimed biochemist Boyd Haley and Nashville News reporter, Stacy Case, who started experiencing symptoms of MS shortly after having 4 amalgams unsafely taken out and 4 new amalgams put in.
The Council of Europe calls for restricting or prohibiting the use of amalgams The Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe adopted a resolution on 27 May 2011 urging its 47 member countries to start "restricting or prohibiting the use of amalgams as dental fillings."
The challenge of Dr. Herbert Needleman in the fight over lead toxicity "Dr. Herbert Needleman discovered that lead is harmful to the human body and mind in the 1950s. Since then, he has worked towards banning lead from everyday life in hope of stemming lead poisoning."
Testimony from DAMS President at FDA townhall in Orlando Bernard Windham of Dental Amalgam Mercury Solutions gives his testimony at the Orlando townhall hosted by the FDA's Center for Devices and Radiological Health (CDRH) which is responsible for classifying and regulating dental mercury amalgam fillings.
Tampa Dentist Sings The Amalgam Blues Tampa Dentist, Dr. Hal Enlow, sings an original composition titled "The Amalgam Blues." The harmful effects of mercury toxicity are well documented and could play a role in the development of diseases that have come to be viewed by the medical community as chronic conditions for which there are no known causes. Listen, enjoy, and then do something about your dangerous amalgam fillings.
Sweden recommends banning mercury fillings for health and environmental reasons FDA's Director of the center for devices and radiological health (CDRH) knew Sweden banned mercury fillings for health reasons yet misrepresented those findings and chose not to update their fact sheet on dental amalgam which stated the opposite
Sweden did NOT get rid of mercury fillings solely for environmental reasons In a July 11th broadcast of BBC Panorama, Tom Mangold interviews Siw Persson, a member of the Swedish parliament. Tom learns that Sweden did NOT get rid of mercury fillings solely for environmental reasons as many pro-mercury filling advocates claim.
Susan Runner of the FDA's CDRH explains how mercury fillings are safe for children Susan Runner of the FDA's Center for Devices and Radiological Health (CDRH) explains how mercury exposure from dental amalgam fillings (which release various amounts of mercury 24/7 ) is safe for children.
Scientists urge FDA to stop mercury amalgam filling use in children, pregnant women, and hypersensitive At the end of the FDA dental products panel hearing to evaluate the safety of amalgam, FDA’s scientific panel, including neurologists, toxicologists, epidemiologists, and environmental health specialists concluded that, contrary to the claims of FDA’s in-house dentist Susan Runner, "amalgam is not safe for everybody." and to stop its use in susceptible, at risk populations.
Review of Norwegian experiences with the phase-out of dental amalgam use The Norwegian Climate and Pollution Agency (Klif) sponsored a review of the experiences from the phase-out of the use of dental amalgam as tooth filling material in Norway, and to make an assessment of the costs to the society from the actions taken to limit the release of mercury. The purpose was to show how Norway has carried out this policy.
Report to the IAOMT on the Congressional Hearing “Assessing State and Local Regulations to Reduce Dental Mercury Emissions” The International Academy of Oral Medicine and Toxicology hired John Rowe of Capitol Strategy Consultants, Inc. to give a rundown of the proceedings from the hearing, "Assessing State and Local Regulations to Reduce Dental Mercury Emissions" which was conducted on Tuesday, July 8, 2008 in room 2154 Rayburn House Office Building in Washington, D.C. 20515
Real cost of mercury fillings revealed in new study Mercury fillings are more expensive than the mercury-free alternatives, according to a new study released by a broad coalition of health, consumer, and environmental groups. The study details how society pays for dental mercury through additional pollution control costs, deterioration of public resources, and the health effects associated with mercury contamination.
Predicting the Future of Dental Amalgam Use and FDA Regulation Michael Fleming DDS examines the role of the FDA concerning amalgam's use in dentistry. He also discusses common misconceptions and breaks down the arguments about amalgam's safety to their core components and examines them individually.
Overview of The US Dental Amalgam Debate, 2010 Meeting of the FDA Dental Products Panel The current scientific debate regarding the safety of amalgam dental restorations being conducted in the US is presented. The material is based on a meeting held on December 14 and 15, 2010 by the Dental Products Panel of the Medical Devices Advisory Committee of the Food and Drug Administration. The scientific and historic context of the debate is provided, followed by scientific arguments, public testimony and panel deliberations.
Overview of the Government Accountability Office This video provides an overview of The Government Accountability Office (GAO) goals and operations, including the agency's responsibilities, core values, organizational structure, engagement process, and accomplishments. When GAO has investigated the government agencies which regulate various aspects of dental amalgam they have found mismanagement, fraud, and a suppression of science.
Norway Bans Mercury Amalgam Fillings The Norwegian Minister of the Environment and International Development, Erik Solheim, has prohibited the use of mercury in products in Norway. Among others the use of mercury in dental materials will be prohibited.
NGO, IAOMT Story has gone viral within the medical community The NGO, IAOMT urging the UN to ban mercury fillings story has gone viral within the medical community.
Newly placed high copper amalgam fillings release 189% more mercury than non-high copper amalgams James Adams PhD presents data that proves high copper amalgam fillings release up to 189 % more mercury than non-high copper amalgams during the first few days of placement.
New publisher, Capsule Press is all about mercury I've had a pretty great year. In May, my first book, Getting the Mercury Out, was published. It's a memoir about my mercury poisoning experience, how I was poisoned by my amalgam fillings, and how I detoxed the mercury and made a full recovery. This book is very close to my heart, not only because it's the story of my own personal struggle, but because I'm also its publisher!
Neurotoxic Effects of Mercury in Norwegian Dental Nurses Presented to FDA in 2006 In 2006, Michael Bender, director of Mercury Policy Project testified in front of the FDA's dental product panel. Michael explained in great detail how thousands of Norwegian dental nurses had suffered neurotoxic effects from occupational exposure to mercury vapor. Other adverse health effects included: tremors, memory and concentration problems, liver and kidney problems, depression, extreme fatigue, anxiety, mood swings, vision disturbances, diarrhea, menstrual and muscular problems.
National Coverage on NBC Nightly News with Brian Williams National Coverage of the Dental Amalgam Issue on NBC Nightly News with Brian Williams on December 10th, 2010.
Movies That Matter Presents "SMOKING TEETH = POISON GAS" Next up in the "Movies That Matter" series at Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Door County is the film "Smoking Teeth = Poison Gas." which will play at 4:30 p.m. Tuesday (02-15-2011) at Unitarian Universalist Fellowship, 10341 Wisconsin 42, Ephraim. For more information, call (920) 854-7559 or go to www.uufdc.org
Minnesota Bans Mercury In Cosmetic Products What? Mercury in cosmetics banned ? Wow, those levels of mercury must be astronimically high to ban it in a product that is occasionally used by a small percentage of the population. What? the amount found in cosmetics is only a miniscule fraction of what is released from dental mercury amalgam fillings continually for the life of the amalgam, which can sometimes be upward of 60+ years. Go figure.
Mike Fleming DDS discusses the History of FDA's Classification of Dental Amalgam Fillings Mike DDS, Discusses the History of FDA's Classification of Dental Amalgam Fillings. Dr. Michael D. Fleming currently serves as the Consumer Representative on the Dental Products Panel at the Center for Devices and Radiologic Health of the Food and Drug Administration and has served on two separate hearings on the safety of dental amalgam in 2006 and 2010.
Mercury vapor poisoning aboard HMS Triumph and HMS Phipps In 1810, two British ships, HMS Triumph and HMS Phipps, salvaged a large load of elemental mercury from a wrecked Spanish vessel near Cadiz, Spain. The bladders containing the mercury soon ruptured. The element spread about the ships in liquid and vapor forms. The sailors presented with neurologic compromises: tremor, paralysis, and excessive salivation as well as tooth loss, skin problems, and pulmonary complaints.
Mercury in Dental Amalgam and Resin-Based Alternatives A Comparative Health Risk Evaluation Substituting mercury with alternative materials for dental fillings has less negative impact on human health and the environment, according to a new report by the Health Care Research Collaborative. The report compares the health and environmental impacts of mercury amalgam with those of the alternatives currently available and also found that health systems in several countries have successfully substituted mercury with alternatives.
Mercury Fillings A Health Threat? Maestro Ben Zander, conductor for the Boston Philharmonic, speaks publicly about his complete recovery from Ménière's Disease after having his fifteen mercury amalgam fillings removed. The neurological disease, Ben says nearly cost him his career.
Listen to Consumer Advocates Interviewed on The Edge In an informative interview by Tom Smith, host and producer of the radio program THE EDGE, consumer advocate Freya Koss and attorney James Love discuss the health hazards of mercury amalgam dental fillings and the history of FDA's illogical refusal to remove this toxic product from the marketplace. 
Jim Love of the IAOMT: dental industry influence on Health Canada's amalgam risk assessment Jim Love of the IAOMT discusses the dental industries influence on Health Canada's dental amalgam risk assessment authored by Mark Richardson.
James Hardy DMD presents his testimony to the FDA's CDRH Townhall in Orlando March 2011 Dentist Dr. James Hardy DMD is author of the book, Mercury Free: The wisdom behind the global consumer movement to ban "silver" dental fillings. For 30 years he has had a mercury free dental practice. In this video he presents his testimony to the FDA's CDRH Townhall in Orlando March 2011
Is there more mercury in a tuna sandwich compared to mercury dental fillings ? One argument pro-amalgamist use when trying to downplay the exposure to mercury from dental amalgam fillings is to say that there is more mercury exposure from a tuna fish sandwich compared to that from dental mercury fillings. So we decided to examine the merits of that argument by comparing mercury levels from a 5 oz. can of tuna to the many various exposure levels from that of dental amalgam on different age groups through out the U.S.A.
Institute of Medicine Panel says FDA's medical device review system 'flawed' The government should abandon a 35-year-old system for approving most medical devices in the U.S. because it offers little to no assurance of safety for patients, a panel of medical experts concludes in a report Friday. The surprise recommendation from the Institute of Medicine panel calls for a massive reworking of how the government regulates medical devices. Dental Amalgam Fillings are considered a medical device.
Injured Consumer Freya Koss Testifies at the FDA Townhall in Orlando Freya Koss, director of the Pennsylvania Coalition For Mercury Free Dentistry delivers her testimony to the FDA's Center for Devices and Radiological Health (CDRH) in Orlando Florida.
IAOMT submits addendum to amalgam rule to FDA This is a complete copy of the IAOMT's addendum to their Petition for Reconsideration submitted by Jim Love, et al in March of 2013. The addendum to the petition added new proof of the damaging effect of mercury in amalgams and asked that mercury in dental materials either be banned or reclassified as an FDA Class III device thus restricting its use and increasing regulations when using this product.
Government Accountability Office - GAO GAO is known as "the investigative arm of Congress" and "the congressional watchdog." GAO supports the Congress in meeting its constitutional responsibilities and helps improve the performance and accountability of the federal government for the benefit of the American people. When GAO has investigated the government agencies which regulate various aspects of dental amalgam they have found mismanagement, fraud, and a suppression of science.
Glass-Ionomer Cement: A cost-effective, mercury-free, aesthetic tooth restoration. The latest systematic review results suggest high-viscosity glass-ionomer cement (GIC) as a safe and economical long-term tooth restorative. 
French dentists move away from mercury fillings Sweden, Norway, Denmark and Germany have banned or restricted use of the fillings. The European commission may soon call for their phasing out.
Fox news reporter Stacy Case presents a powerful testimonial of her mercury induced MS to the FDA Fox news reporter, Stacy Case, delivers an emotional testimony at the FDA's townhall in California, September 2011. She tells of her mercury induced MS symptoms and diagnosis. The townhall, hosted by The FDA's Center's for devices and radiological health, the office within FDA that has failed to classify mercury fillings for over 33 years, despite researchers presenting scientific evidence of harm from a medical device made of 50% mercury.
Floridians tell Dr. Shuren of the FDA's CDRH - BAN MERCURY AMALGAM NOW! When FDA's Center for Devices showed up in Orlando for the public Town Hall Meeting on May 5th, an impressive group of professionals and consumers confronted Director, Dr. Jeffrey Shuren, the apologist for the abysmal Amalgam Rule. Floridians turned out en masse outraged over FDA's failure to protect even children from dental mercury.
FDA widens mercury skin lightening cream investigation Mercury, a known toxin, is banned in skin-bleaching or lightening creams. Mercury is sometimes illegally added to creams because the metal blocks production of melanin, which gives skin its pigmentation. Mercury is rapidly absorbed through the skin and can cause severe health effects, including neurological and kidney damage.
FDA loses lawsuit and must classify dental amalgam mercury fillings In 1976, Congress directed FDA to classify (determine the risk of) every medical device. Dental fillings are a medical device. FDA proceeded to classify all filling materials except the most common one – and the most controversial one – mercury amalgam fillings. Despite letters, petitions, Congressional hearings, and a lawsuit, FDA refused to budge. For 32 years, from 1976 to 2008, FDA defied the law, until Consumers for Dental Choice sued them.
FDA gets an earful about dental amalgam at town hall meeting The FDA held a town hall meeting in Las Colinas Texas. Several people confronted the director about dental mercury fillings.  "I was sick for 20 years before a doctor found out what was wrong with me," said Virginia Pritchett, who has been plagued by seizures and immune system problems caused by a reaction to dental mercury. "The fact that they have not banned these is nothing short of an atrocity to humanity."  
FDA condemns itself to perpetual study and inaction, leaving the public unprotected The FDA was charged with evaluating and classifying medical devices in 1976. Amalgam manufacturers have been able to successfully shirk the burden of proving safety, which should rightfully be assigned to them. If the FDA assigns the burden to prove harm to U.S. consumer groups, the FDA condemns itself to perpetual study and inaction. This will result in an ineffective agency and an unprotected public, devastated by preventable degenerative disease.
Excerpts From Health Canada's Dental Amalgam Risk Assessment The Health Canada report entitled "Assessment of Mercury Exposure and Risks from Dental Amalgam" was prepared for the Medical Devices Bureau by Dr. Mark Richardson and released in November, 1995. It was the first comprehensive risk assessment in Canada of mercury exposure from dental amalgam.
EU Commission study opens the way to phasing mercury out of dentistry A European Commission study recommends phasing out dental amalgam use in the next five years. The BIOS report noted that mercury-free fillings appear more expensive than amalgam because the negative external costs associated with management of amalgam waste and effluents are not factored into the market price.
EPA Warns of High Mercury Levels in Skin-Lightening Creams The EPA is warning against skin-lightening creams that may contain dangerous levels of mercury. The Chicago Tribune sent 50 creams to a certified lab for testing. Six of the creams were found to contain amounts of mercury banned by federal law. Five had more than 6,000 parts per million of mercury: Amalgam fillings contain 500,000 parts per million of mercury.
Dr. Rich Chanin DMD Discusses Biological Dentistry and Patients Health Improvements After Removing Amalgam Fillings Dr. Rich Chanin DMD discusses patients health improvements he has observed after removing amalgam fillings from their mouths.
Dr. Neufeld shares stories of patients improved health after removal of mercury fillings My journey toward becoming a holistic and mercury free dentist began around 2002. I had already stopped using silver amalgam fillings in the 1990's, when better filling options became available. I was concerned about the idea of putting mercury in people's mouths and also knew that it caused teeth to crack, which is not what I wanted for my patients.
Dr. Joeseph Baba DDS Patients Health Improvements After Removing Amalgam Fillings Dr. Joeseph Baba D.D.S. discusses patients health improvements he has observed after removing amalgam fillings from their mouths.
Dr. James Rota gives a brief history on the use of mercury in amalgam fillings in American dentistry Dr. James Rota gives a brief history on the use of mercury in amalgam fillings in American dentistry  
Dr Michael Margolis presents evidence that mercury from amalgam fillings is absorbed into the gum and jaw bone Dr Michael Margolis presents evidence to the FDA's dental products panel in 2010 that mercury from amalgam fillings is absorbed into the gum and jaw bone
Documentary Filmmaker Kelly G. releases 2 new short films on dental mercury. Five time cancer survivor Kelly G. (Pandora’s Mouth) has made two great, short and easy to grasp movies about the mercury issue / heavy metal toxicity from dental amalgam. Please watch them and feel free to circulate them within your respective network(s).
Diane Meyer: It was mercury poisoning, not my hormones I'm Dr. Diane Meyer a practicing dentist in the SW suburbs of Chicago.  I've been in the dental field for over 30 years. I am a female dentist that has had to deal with a lot of medical issues, that were passed off as being either hormonal or psychological. My medical issues can be traced directly to the enormous amounts of occupational mercury I was exposed to. Mercury exposure is an entirely overlooked health hazard in my profession, which is why I decided to write this article.
Debunking the ADA's claim of "only minute amounts of mercury are released from amalgam" When reporting on how much mercury is released from dental mercury amalgam fillings most journalists cite The American Dental Association's spokesman Rodney Mackert's "estimates" without understanding any of the inherant flaws in his methodology.  Read on to find out more about the debunking of this dubious claim.  
Daubert: The Most Influential Supreme Court Ruling You’ve Never Heard Of The US Supreme Court ruled in Daubert v. Merrell Dow Pharmaceuticals, Inc. that judges must act as "gatekeepers" in the courtroom, determining if the scientific evidence introduced is relevant and reliable. The Daubert decision has had tremedous impact on how science is used (and misused) in courts. In his dissent in the Daubert case, Chief Justice William Rehnquist raised concern that Daubert would force judges, many of whom have little knowledge of science, to become "amateur scientists."
Correcting the inaccurate "Red Herring" comment from FDA amalgam hearing panelist Susan Griffin of the EPA When covering the 2010 FDA dental products panel hearing on the safety of dental amalgam fillings, the press widely promoted the "red herring" comment from FDA panelist, Susan Griffin (of the EPA). The comment was directed at the assertion that the Fawer study should not be relied on for the basis of a risk assessment because many of the workers in the study were also exposed to chlorine, which inhibits uptake of mercury (up to 40%).
Congressman Burton Holds 2nd Amalgam Hearing ADA Spokesman's Testimony Discredited by Scientists Richard D. Fischer, DDS gives a summary of the hearing convened Thursday, May 8, 2003 by The House Subcommittee on Human Rights and Wellness, chaired by Congressman Dan Burton. The hearing was titled, "Consumer choice and implementing full disclosure in dentistry".
Civil War Surgeon General was court-martialed for ordering end to mercury Realizing that mercury should have no role in medicine, Surgeon General of the United States, William A. Hammond courageously issued General Order #6, banning its use by Army physicians. Immediately thereafter, The American Medical Association called for his ouster and assigned delegates from every state to work against Order #6, thus leading to his eventual court-martial.
Chris Shade PhD shares the history of lead and declining levels determining harm. Chris Shade PhD shares the history of lead and declining levels determining harm. Accompanying article, A Brief History of Lead Regulation" by Tristan Fowler.
Chicago Tribune’s Trine Tsouderos Undermines dietary supplement OSR a Powerful Antioxidant Dr. Stephen C. L'Hommedieu critiques the flawed Chicago Tribune article OSR#1: Industrial Chemical or Autism Treatment?  In the article, Medical and Science reporter Trine Tsouderos provides outright misinformation. Trine is an excellent example of today's biased 'journalism.' It is junk food journalism guaranteed to tantalize the nerve buds within the minds of the uninformed and those who lack analytical thinking.
Charlie Brown of Consumers for Dental Choice interviewed on California Public Radio Charlie Brown, Executive Director of Consumers for Dental Choice and Dr. Edmond Hewlett, Professor in the Division of Restorative Dentistry at the UCLA School of Dentistry and Consumer Advisor for the American Dental Association are interviewed on the Southern California Public Radio program Air Talk.
Charlie Brown of Consumers for Dental Choice explains the history of FDAs classification of dental mercury fillings In 1976, Congress directed FDA to classify (determine the risk of) every medical device. Dental fillings are a medical device. FDA proceeded to classify all filling materials except the most common one – and the most controversial one – mercury amalgam fillings. Despite letters, petitions, Congressional hearings, and a lawsuit, FDA refused to budge. FDA had no intention of doing what by law it was required to do. For 32 years, FDA defied the law.
CBS Evening News - FDA Weighs Mercury Use in Tooth Fillings CBS NEWS: FDA Weighs Mercury Use in Tooth Fillings
Panel Examines Whether Fillings Dentists Use 50 Million Times Annually Have Adverse Effects
CBS:  Many people have silver fillings in their teeth called amalgams. Dentists put in more than 50 million of them annually.  The Food and Drug Administration looked Tuesday at whether they may be hazardous
Causes of Dental Mercury Amalgam Failure In this educational video one will learn about the many ways in which amalgam fillings can and do fail. In addition, Dr. Harold Loe, the Director of the National Institute of Dental Research ( NIDR), explains why amalgam is not an ideal dental filling.
Capsule Press Launches New Memoir: The Mercury Diaries It takes a lot of courage to recover from mercury poisoning. It takes even more courage to reveal the details of your recovery to the whole world. In The Mercury Diaries, Daniel Forsyth tells us the story of how his beautiful life was inexplicably being flushed away in torrent of ill-health. Plagued by a host of mysterious symptoms that doctors couldn't cure, he decided to strike out and forge his own path to health, using whatever herbal and alternative healing methods he could find.
Book Review: Toxic Dentistry Exposed Graeme Munro-Hall, BDS, and Lillian Munro-Hall, BDS, wrote “Toxic Dentistry Exposed: The Link between Dentistry and Chronic Disease". Graeme and Lillian explain the need for holistic dentistry, the link of oral health and systemic health problems, and provide excellent case studies.
Book Review: The Toxic Dental Office - How to protect yourself and your family A new patient comes into your dental practice. How do you explain the thousands of issues about a biological dental practice in the allotted time? Simply put you can’t! You can only explain a few methods and procedures that may directly relate to the patient’s initial complaint. It is a steep learning curve for patients.
Book Review: The Poison in Your Teeth: Mercury Amalgam (Silver) Fillings… Book Review: The Poison in Your Teeth: Mercury Amalgam (Silver) Fillings…. Hazardous to Your Health
Author: Tom McGuire, DDS Review by: Marjorie Theroux Tietjen  
Book Review: Beating Alzheimer's A Step Towards Unlocking the Mysteries of Brain Diseases by Tom Warren  Tom details the remarkable personal story of how he reversed the devastating symptoms of Alzheimer's disease in this book, "Beating Alzheimer's - A Step towards Unlocking the Mysteries of Brain Diseases". Through extensive reading, Tom was able to find the science that led to his recovery and outlines the step-by-step plan that he followed to free himself from the grips of this relentless disease.
Book Review: Amalgam Illness: Diagnosis and Treatment, by Andrew H Cutler While there are many books available about detoxing from mercury, "Amalgam Illness, Diagnosis and Treatment: What You Can Do to Get Better, How Your Doctor Can Help" is highly praised and regarded as one of the safest, most effective protocols used for detoxing from mercury. Read on to learn more about this book from the author and publisher.
BBC Panorama The Poison in Your Mouth Most people have metal or amalgam fillings in their mouth and each filling is made from 50% mercury. Science has shown that everytime we chew, brush, or grind our teeth, some of the mercury is released as a vapor and we inhale it. Panorama has uncovered a growing body of scientific evidence which shows ominous links between the mercury from our fillings and serious illnesses. We also reveal an uncomfortable background of complacency and ignorance within the British Dental establishment which is helping mask the truth about the dangers of the poison in your mouth.
Backstory to the FDA 2010 hearings on the safety of dental mercury amalgam fillings The International Academy of Oral Medicine and Toxicology presents the backstory and lead up to the 2010 FDA hearing on amalgam safety.
Atraumatic Restorative Treatment (ART) An inexpensive, safe, effective alternative to amalgam Dr Prathip Phantumvanit from Thailand is a founder of Atraumatic Restorative Treatment (ART) which is an inexpensive, safe and effective alternative to mercury amalgam dental fillings.
American Dental Association owes no legal duty of care to protect the public from allegedly dangerous products used by dentists "The ADA owes no legal duty of care to protect the public from allegedly dangerous products used by dentists... ...The ADA's only alleged involvement in the product was to provide information regarding its use. Dissemination of information relating to the practice of dentistry does not create a duty of care to protect the public from potential injury".
Amalgam Debate: Distorted Science Robert Cartland, an Engineering Physicist from Southern California, examines two widely touted statements, one from each side of the amalgam debate, that have more rhetorical than scientific value. The first is the IAOMT claim that mercury is the most toxic nonradioactive element on the periodic table. The second is the ADA claim that amalgam is safe because it binds mercury in a way similar to the molecules in table salt. Both statements are misleading and distort the science.
ADA promotes chewing gum which increases mercury vapor released from silver mercury fillings by 15% In 2007 the ADA started awarding their ADA Seal of Acceptance to chewing gum manufacturers. Unfortunately there was no warnings that chewing gum can increase release of mercury vapor from "silver" mercury fillings as noted in the 1981 landmark study by Dr. Carl Svare, found that mercury release from fillings increases by 15-fold whenever the fillings are stimulated by chewing, brushing, hot fluids and bruxism.
ABC NEWS - FDA Panel Reviews Health Safety of Mercury Fillings Opponents of Dental Mercury Want Restrictions, If Not Ban
A federal advisory panel is trying to decide whether the U.S. Food and Drug Administration relied on adequate science when it determined last year that mercury amalgam can safely be used to fill cavities in healthy people.The FDA didn't find evidence that dental mercury hurts developing fetuses, young children and those sensitive to its potential health effects.
A series of funny cartoons on dental mercury fillings Here is a collection of funny cartoons on dental mercury fillings we found on the internet, enjoy.  Please, feel free to submit more if you find any.
A Critical Analysis of the Science Underestimating Mercury Released from Amalgam Fillings Many dental journals frame the conversation of mercury released from amalgam fillings as a “controversy”. They continually underestimate the emission of Hg from amalgam in order to downplay any potential for adverse effects. This article compares the methodologies between research by Dr. Boyd Haley indicating amalgam releases large amounts of Hg over time and another researcher, who is funded by the dental materials industry.
A Brief Overview of the Petition For Reconsideration For over 33 years the FDA dodged properly classifying dental mercury amalgam as it was grandfathered in without proof of safety. In 2007 the FDA lost a lawsuit which forced them to classify. The final FDA classification declared mercury amalgam to be safe for anyone and everyone, without regard to age, reproductive status, or any of the known factors that make a person susceptible to the effects of mercury exposure.
A Brief History of Dental Amalgam In testimony to the FDA's dental products panel in December 2010, David Kennedy DDS gives a brief overview of the history of dental amalgam and debunks popular pro-mercury arguments.
A Brief History of Alzheimer's Disease Boyd Haley P.h.D. gives a brief overview of the history of Alzheimer's disease and how the increased use in amalgam coincides with the rise in Alzheimer's disease.
2010 Assessing EPA's Efforts to Measure and Reduce Mercury Pollution from Dentist Offices May 26, 2010, the Domestic Policy Subcommittee held a hearing entitled "Assessing EPA's Efforts to Measure and Reduce Mercury Pollution from Dentist Offices." The purpose of the hearing is to examine actions undertaken by EPA and other stakeholders to improve measurement of and limit mercury pollution from dental sources.
2008 Reducing Dental Mercury Emissions:Installing Amalgam Separators and Achieving Compliance The Subcommittee on Domestic Policy held a hearing entitled "Reducing Dental Mercury Emissions Installing Amalgam Separators and Achieving Compliance." The hearing examined existing state and local government initiatives and regulations aimed at reducing dental mercury emissions, evaluated their success, and documented the lessons learned. 
2008 Assessing State and Local Regulations to Reduce Dental Mercury Emissions July 8, 2008, the Subcommittee on Domestic Policy held a hearing entitled "Assessing State and Local Regulations to Reduce Dental Mercury Emissions." This hearing examined existing state and local government initiatives and regulations aimed at reducing dental mercury emissions, evaluated their success, and documented the lessons learned.
2007 Environmental Risks of and Regulatory Response to Mercury Dental Fillings November 14, 2007, the Subcommittee on Domestic Policy held a hearing entitled "Environmental Risks of and Regulatory Response to Mercury Dental Fillings." The purpose of the hearing is to examine actions undertaken by EPA and other stakeholders to improve measurement of and limit mercury pollution from dental sources.
2004 Truth Revealed: New Scientific Discoveries Regarding Mercury in Medicine and Autism September 8 2004, the Subcommittee on Human Rights and Wellness of the Committee on Government Reform held a hearing entitled "Truth Revealed: New Scientific Discoveries Regarding Mercury in Medicine and Autism."
2004 California's Compliance with Dental Amalgam Disclosure Policies January 26 2004, the Subcommittee on Human Rights and Wellness of the Committee on Government Reform held a hearing entitled "California's Compliance with Dental Amalgam Disclosure Policies."
2003 The Environmental Impact of Mercury Containing Dental Amalgams October 8, 2003, the Subcommittee on Human Rights and Wellness of the Committee on Government Reform held a hearing entitled "The Environmental Impact of Mercury Containing Dental Amalgams."
2003 Consumer Choice and Implementing Full Disclosure in Dentistry May 8, 2003, the Subcommittee on Human Rights and Wellness of the Committee on Government Reform held a hearing entitled "Consumer Choice and Implementing Full Disclosure in Dentistry."
2002 Mercury in dental amalgams: An examination of the science November 14, 2002, the Committee on Government Reform held a hearing entitled "Mercury in dental amalgams: An examination of the science."
"Silver" Amalgam Fillings Containing Mercury Are Still Commonly Used Among Young US Dentists Despite improvements in resin-based composite technology, US dentists are placing more amalgam restorations than composites, and amalgam is still emphasized by US dental schools, according to the results of 2 studies published in the June issue of the Journal of the American Dental Association.
"NoBody needs mercury!" - our mutual slogan and logo!? One of my goals for the future is that we join forces as to marketing, branding and thus create a unified front by ... next to our existing logos/names ... incorporating and promoting the “Nobody needs mercury!” slogan respectively product range in order to … in an easy to grasp way … heighten the awareness about the mercury issue and the acceptance of the diagnosis heavy metal toxicity:
"Doubt Is Their Product" outlines how industry uses junk science to manufacture doubt and controversy "Doubt is our product," a cigarette executive once observed, "since it is the best means of competing with the 'body of fact' that exists in the minds of the general public. It is also the means of establishing a controversy." This book gives great insight into how trade organizations like the American Dental Association can use junk science to manufacture doubt and controversy.

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Tuesday, 27 December 2011 01:13

Mercury vapor poisoning aboard HMS Triumph and HMS Phipps

hms-triumph

Historical Neurology

The quicksilver prize.

Mercury vapor poisoning aboard HMS Triumph and HMS Phipps

Michael J. Doherty, MD

Abstract

In 1810, two British ships, HMS Triumph and HMS Phipps, salvaged a large load of elemental mercury from a wrecked Spanish vessel near Cadiz, Spain. The bladders containing the mercury soon ruptured. The element spread about the ships in liquid and vapor forms. The sailors presented with neurologic compromises: tremor, paralysis, and excessive salivation as well as tooth loss, skin problems, and pulmonary complaints. The events are reviewed in the context of what was known about mercury vapor inhalation. 

In the early nineteenth century, elemental mercury was in great demand. Large volumes were used in the purification of gold and silver ores. Additionally, mercury was used in gilding, plating, and mirror making. Mercurial salts were used in hat making and touted as cures for syphilis and dysentery. Consequently, mercury was valuable: In 1810, 1 lb sold for half a US dollar.1 Spain had a virtual monopoly on its trade, supplying large volumes to Europe and North America. Cinnabar (HgS), mined in both Spain and Spanish America, was smelted and refined into quicksilver, which  was ultimately stored at and shipped through the port of Cadiz.2 

The setting.

In 1810, two ships of the Royal Navy became contaminated with elemental mercury loaded at Cadiz. The crews developed neurologic compromises characteristic of exposure to mercury vapor. Two secondary descriptions of the accident3,4 and one eyewitness account, written 14 years after the event,1 are the principal sources of this report. 

No primary sources such as captain's, ship's, or surgeon's logs were studied.

In 1810, Napoleon Bonaparte's armies occupied much of Europe. Britain, Spain, and Portugal formed an alliance against France. A priority for all countries was merchant and naval access to the Mediterranean Sea and the Atlantic. Spain was under incomplete French occupation, and Cadiz, Spain's major mercantile and naval port, remained in Spanish control. Merchant vessels from Europe, the Americas, and the West Indies continued to ship metals, food, and spices to and from Cadiz. The city was an attractive target.

Cadiz, however, was easily  defendable. It is built on a rocky knoll at the end of a narrow peninsula that juts far into the Bay of Cadiz. The harbor provided ample room for the merchant fleet as well as Portuguese, Spanish, and British men-of-war, which served their Cadiz garrisons. Landlocked French forces camped along the shores of the bay and besieged the city as best they could.1 French batteries, although unable to bombard the city, peppered ships that strayed within range.1 

On March 4, 1810, a hurricane that lasted 4 days struck Cadiz.3 Anchor cables of ships anchored in the Bay of Cadiz snapped or dragged.1,3-5 Four Spanish and 1 Portuguese ship of the line were damaged along with at least 31 merchant vessels. The hurricane's flood surge grounded or stranded many ships on or close to the French- ontrolled shore. Salvage of damaged ships or goods was a high priority for all parties. To prevent their capture by the French, many vessels were intentionally burned.3-5

The prize.

Ships of two British fleets, the Portuguese and Mediterranean, were in Cadiz in March of 1810.1,3-6 One task was to salvage goods from the wrecked ships.1,3-5 A Spanish man-of-war, La Purisima Concepcion, had been blown onto tidal flats of the San Pietro River.1 Within its hold was a large prize of quicksilver originally loaded in South America. 1,4 Although French soldiers could wade to the vessel at low tide, and their cannons were within range of the Spanish ship, they had no boats with which to transfer the mercury.1 During a succession of nights, British marines in longboats removed 130  tons of the element from the stranded vessel, placing it aboard at least two ships,  HMS Triumph (figure),

a 74-gun ship of the line, and the schooner HMS Phipps.1,3,4 Elemental mercury was transported in different ways, most commonly in iron bottles or leather bladders.1 The vast majority aboard La Purisima Concepcion was stored in kidskin bladders, two of which were in turn placed in small kegs. Three kegs were then placed in iron-hooped strongboxes.1,3,4 After removal from the Spanish ship, boxes were stored in the bread or spirit rooms of the Triumph and  Phipps.4,5 In a 74-gun, third-rate ship of the line such as the Triumph, the bread and spirit rooms were both on the orlop (lowest) deck, at the rear of the  vessel, close to the waterline (see the figure). Because the orlop deck had no gun ports and was not as high as other decks—upper and lower decks had 5 ft of headroom—its ventilation was abysmal (see the figure).

The consequences. The Royal Navy's version of subsequent events suggests that heat and water damage likely eroded the leather bags.4 It was not long before "several tons [of mercury] speedily diffused through the ship, mixing with the bread, and more or less with the other provisions." However, an eyewitness account suggests the sailors may have been under the impression that the mercury was "silver ore" with a high street value. Motivated by greed and ignorance, and with no place to hide a strongbox from their superiors, they intentionally ruptured the bladders.1

The enterprising sailors concealed quicksilver wherever they could: "pockets, handkerchiefs, . . . clothes, hammocks, . . . chests and every hole and corner of the ship, . . . every chink and timber." The men were later seen "on the mole of Cadiz, endeavoring to exchange a handful of quicksilver for a drink of grog."1

Members of the crew of the Triumph and Phipps soon presented with copious salivation followed by oral ulcerations, partial paralysis, tremor, pulmonary congestion, bowel complaints, skin excoriations, gum problems, and tooth loss.1,3,4 (The sources examined provided no accounts of behavioral problems.)

Six hundred fifty men were on board the Triumph. Over 200, most of them noncommissioned, became ill, although the Triumph's surgeon and purser were "among the first and most severely affected."4 They bunked beside the mercury stores (see the figure). It is unclear how many men were sick on the Phipps, though officers of that vessel who slept over the bags of mercury were worse afflicted than the noncommissioned men.3

Although sailors were removed from the vessels, they continued to fall ill. The Triumph was ordered  to Gibraltar.  The ship was to be cleaned, and the men were to be treated at the naval hospital.4 Sailors were treated with "frequent use of small doses of neutral salts and detergents."4 Three men died from pulmonary disease and two from facial gangrene, but  most of the hospitalized were later discharged asymptomatic.

Two remained in Gibraltar, suffering from respiratory complaints. Mice, goats, sheep, pigs, poultry, cats, roaches, a dog, and a canary were less fortunate. All reportedly died.3,4 The Triumph was thoroughly and repeatedly cleaned. The hold was emptied, and its contents, including  the shingles used for ballast, were replaced. Almost 8,000 lbs of biscuit, stored in bags in the Figure. (A) HMS Triumph by William Latham. The 74- gun ship of the line had two main gun decks. Below the last gun deck was the orlop deck, which typically had a lower height (5 ft) and no ventilation. (Reproduced with permission of the National Maritime Museum, London, UK). (B) Elevation of a typical 74, not to  scale. 1  poop deck; 2  quarterdeck; 3  upper deck; 4  gun or lower deck (the majority of enlisted men, marines, and able seamen  slept on upper or lower decks); 5  orlop deck; 6  hold. (C) Plan of a typical 74 orlop deck, not to scale. 7 bread room; 8  steward's cabin; 9  purser's cabin; 10   cockpit, spirit locker, and hatch; 11  sail room; 12  carpenter's room; 13  captain's storage; 14  surgeon's cabin. The salvaged mercury was taken to the bread and spirit rooms. After the bags ruptured, elemental mercury presumably flowed through much of the orlop and into the holds andballast below.3,4,6,7

bread room, was condemned, as "quicksilver mixed with it."4 The Phipps was similarly cleaned, although more pragmatically, by boring a hole through the bottom of the hull and letting the mercury flow out.3 The Triumph left Gibraltar with a recovered crew, new ballast, and fresh provisions. Even after its ablution in Gibraltar, the Triumph  remained contaminated: A metallic powder was noted to be accumulating, and elemental mercury appeared within  the wood and on exposed metals. furthermore, sailors who embarked from Gibraltar in good health later had mercury-induced illness. In  June of 1810, 44 men were removed from the Triumph  while it was on its way to Plymouth.

A unique treatment. Henry Plowman, the Triumph's surgeon, noted that crew stationed on the lowest decks were most symptomatic, those on the upper decks least. He witnessed new sailors develop  mercury poisoning. Plowman deduced that mercurial vapors, not mercury-contaminated food, were responsible.

4 His conclusion may not have been unique. His treatment, however, was. Lower deck gun ports were ordered open, when it was safe to do so; sleeping on the orlop was forbidden; and no men slept in the lower deck if they were at all symptomatic. Windsails were set to channel fresh air into the lower decks day and night.

These measures proved effective. By July, no new cases were recorded.4 Few men, however, remained on the Triumph. According to the eyewitness, a different ship of war towed the poisoned vessel and a skeleton crew back to Britain.1 By 1812, the Triumph was listed as on harbor duty in Plymouth and was without captain.8 Whether mercury contamination ayed a role in the Triumph's decommission is unclear, though the eyewitness relates that the ship was "as I understood, condemned as unfit for service."1

An explanation. Elemental mercury is more dangerous as a vapor than as a liquid. The vapor is colorless, odorless, and neurotoxic. Plowman's conclusion  that the vapors were responsible for the metallic tremors and sickness was correct. Although the  boiling point of mercury is high (357 °C) and its vapor pressure at room temperature is low, it equilibrates  in room air to a concentration 130 times the industrial ceiling concentration of 0.1 mg/m3—the maximum  allowable concentration according to present-day occupational standards.9 This may explain why the men who messed and slept in the least  ventilated orlop and lower decks were most affected. The eyewitness to the Cadiz  poisoning concluded: "Conversing with several officers of the British Navy on the subject, I was induced to believe that the accident proceeded altogether from the ignorance of all those concerned. . . . [T]he whole business was kept as secret as possible by both officers and men, till the great injury was done, in order to prevent the other ships and their crews from participating in the booty."1

Ignorance of the effects of mercury and its vapor, rather than conspiracy, may have been chiefly to blame for the catastrophe. Evolving knowledge. In early nineteenthcentury Europe, mercury vapor was becoming recognized as potentially dangerous. A fire in the cinnabar mines of Idria in 1803 was among the first-described large accidents involving vapor inhalation.10 Burnett, in his delivery to the Royal Society, credits Plowman with deducing the diagnosis and its cause and instituting appropriate therapy without knowing much of mercury vapor poisoning.4 By 1812, more robust descriptions  of mercury vapor poisoning among water gilders in Paris helped codify the descriptive diagnosis of "metallic tremor" or "tremblant metallique."10 By the 1880s, a textbook presentation of mercuryvapor poisoning included weakness, particularly in the upper extremities, with intention tremor and loss of fine motor coordination, possibly associated with numbness. If exposure continued, the tremor became coarser,  spasmodic, and difficult to extinguish.10

Feeding was impossible, the speech stuttering. Later compromises included lower extremity, truncal, and head spasms and tremor. Dyspnea, headache, memory loss, delirium, and seizure occurred. 10 The differential diagnosis  included chorea, St. Vitus dance, and shaking palsy, though combinations  of dyspnea, salivation, tooth loss, skin ulcerations, and behavioral changes seen in patients with a common occupation were outstanding features of mercury vapor poisoning. If the worker was removed from exposure, the tremors and illness, even if they had been progressive, were thought to resolve without  sequelae.10

A lesson from history. Elemental mercury vapor is difficult to detect. It is hard to see or smell, and its persistent inhalation may be fatal. Buildings, ships, and other places in which mercury was stored or used extensively in past centuries may remain contaminated today. An otherwise healthy person who presents with tremor of subacute onset, excessive  salivation, irritability, headache, and breathing difficulty may have vaporous mercury poisoning, acquired in an environment that remains dangerous. 

The patient will need treatment, and the environment identification and decontamination.

Administrator

mercury-exposure-avatarFor years I've read news stories about dental mercury amalgam fillings that failed to ask vital follow up questions for one to form a better understanding of the true risks involved with exposure to mercury fillings. Rarely was a toxicologist, neurologist or bio-chemist interviewed. Instead, the stories would always give dentists such prominence when promoting the safety of a substance of which they knew nothing about, all while never acknowleding the much lower levels of mercury at which our government has removed other products from the market. So now I'm doing what I can to help raise awareness of the many dangerous aspects of dental mercury fillings.

Website: www.mercuryexposure.info

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