Dental amalgams (known as “silver” or “mercury” fillings) are known to be a health threat to people who’ve had them installed to fill in cavities.1 From the moment you step into the average American dental office, you’re likely being exposed to large amounts of mercury vapor. It gets worse for those who work in that environment every day.
“I was diagnosed with heavy metal toxicity to mercury and lead in May 2004 after a year of testing,” says Karen Palmer. “Not only did I have ‘silver’ mercury fillings in my mouth, (since safely removed), I handled amalgam daily at my job as a dental assistant…”2 She says the American Dental Association (ADA) not only refuses to acknowledge any health concerns with mercury amalgams, but also fails to give adequate warnings to dental staff about their safe handling.
Karen’s story is, sadly, not entirely unique. Studies of dental offices and personnel have revealed startling safety issues in regards to mercury exposures. In a large sampling of U.S. dentists, 10% were found to have high mercury levels and 1% to have very high levels.3 An OSHA study also found that up to 16% of U.S. dental offices exceed their standard of mercury in the air, on equipment, etc.
David Kennedy, DDS, has over 30 years of experience in dental practice and is now public information chair for the International Academy of Oral Medicine and Toxicology (IAOMT). He is a participating author in several studies regarding mercury in the dental office and co-producer of Is Your Water Safe, a documentary on mercury from dentistry entering public water supplies. Dr. Kennedy says that there are about 250,000 dental assistants in the U.S. who are at risk “solely because of [the ADA’s] denials and the utter failure of the profession to implement OSHA [Occupational Safety and Health Administration] guidelines and of OSHA personnel failures to enforce their employee protections.”4
Dr. Kennedy further states that many dentists are aware of the dangers of mercury both in their offices and to their patients, but risk losing their license if they speak out. They are often cited by the ADA for “practicing medicine without a license” despite ADA guidelines which encourage dentists to take a patient’s blood pressure if they appear to need a referral to a physician for heart problems and to watch for signs of diabetes.
So which do they do? Commit the crime of “practicing medicine without a license” by informing patients of the danger of mercury fillings or ignore every other health issue they may suspect about their patients and leave their clientele in the dark about their own physical well-being? The ADA can’t have it both ways and selectively enforce “medicine without a license.” All or none or it’s just politics.
Dr. Kennedy also states that despite having spent years abiding by the OSHA guidelines in his office regarding mercury contamination control, his mercury levels would still repeatedly test high.
In our next segment, we’ll explore those OSHA guidelines, Dr. Kennedy’s thoughts on them, and how dental mercury is one of the primary sources of mercury contamination in humans.
1 – Mercury Dental Fillings: What the FDA and the ADA are not Telling You by Aaron Turpen, NaturalNews
2 – Case History of Karen Palmer full text, as sent to Aaron Turpen on June 18, 2010.
3 – Health Effects from Dental Personnel Exposures to Mercury Vapor from Dental Amalgam B. Witham, FLCV.
4 – Interview with Dr. David Kennedy, DDS, June 21, 2010 by Aaron Turpen, link to full text.
5 – Legal brief filed in 1995 by attorneys for the ADA in W.H. Tolhurts vs. American Dental Association, et al recorded on IAOMT website.
Special thanks to NaturalNews readers Karen Palmer and Robert Reeves as well as theIAOMT for research assistance and support for this article series on mercury poisoning.