mercury in teeth fillings is a new one. Andrew Bridges of the Associated Press explains there is an ongoing debate about whether or not these fillings should be allowed:One of the most reoccurring topics on DiseaseProof is the dangers of mercury, especially the contamination of fish, but
Consumer activists on Thursday pressed for at least a partial ban on dentists' use of a mercury-laden amalgam to fill cavities.Dr. Fuhrman cautions that mercury and pregnant women simply shouldn’t mix. Here’s a short section from his book Eat to Live:
They made their demand as a Food and Drug Administration panel of experts met to review a government report that concluded silver dental fillings aren't dangerous, even though they expose patients to low levels of toxic mercury.
The FDA asked the panel to weigh in on whether the study -- a review of 34 recent research studies -- reflects current knowledge about the risks associated with the fillings. The FDA did not ask the panelists to discuss a ban.
The study found "no significant new information" that would change the agency's earlier determination that mercury-based fillings don't harm patients, except in rare cases where they have allergic reactions.
Consumer groups opposed to the use of mercury in dentistry dispute that conclusion. The groups petitioned the FDA earlier in the week for an immediate ban on use of the cavity-filler in pregnant women.
Higher levels of mercury found in mothers who eat more fish have been associated with birth defects, seizures, mental retardation, developmental disabilities, and cerebral palsy.1 This is mostly the result of women having eaten fish when they were pregnant.1. Shamlaye, C. F., D. O. Marsh, G. J. Myers, et al. 1995. The Seychelles Child Development Study on neurodevelopmental outcomes in children following in utero exposure to methylmercury from a maternal fish diet: background and demographics. Neurotoxicology 16 (4): 597-612; Rylander L., U. Stromberg, and L. Hagmar. 1996. Dietary intake of fish contaminated with persistent organochlorine compounds in relation to low birthweight. Scand. J. Work Environ. Health 2 (4): 260-66; Does methylmercury have a role in causing developmental disabilities in children? 2000. Environ. Health Perspect. 108 (supp.3): 413-20.