Advisory Panel Says FDA is Soft on Mercury

A FDA advisory panel accused the agency of being unreasonable in its ruling on mercury fillings. The panel strongly believes the sample on which the study is based was too small. And the decision by the FDA failed to reflect everything the agency knows about the danger of mercury fillings to humans.

The panel concluded that there are too many unknowns about the effect of mercury, which would require further study. The panel’s 13-7 vote slams the agency’s consistent lack of concern for public health.

The problem with mercury fillings, commonly known as “silver fillings” involves the use of amalgam to fill dental cavities. Amalgam composes of 50 percent elemental mercury, some silver, copper, tin, and a small amount of zinc. Since mercury is poisonous, even at low exposure levels, the idea of planting amalgam into teeth cavities seems a dangerous thing.

The FDA has a different theory. The agency believes that these metals when combined together, have a detoxifying effect. This is their basis for declaring amalgams safe. Plus, there are no studies that have proven the dangers of amalgam to human health.

There are several advantages for using amalgam over composite fillings (non-metallic). Amalgam is stronger, more flexible, more durable, and conforms well with the teeth. Amalgam fillings are also very inexpensive.

The alternative to amalgam is composite fillings. These are made of non-metallic materials, and obviously, much safer. Ask your dentist about composite fillings.



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