Posted: July 23rd, 2010 by Militant Libertarian
One thing that has certainly been proven over and over again on NaturalNews is that the U.S. government is extremely good at insider dealing and very inept at actually protecting the people. From sellouts in the Food and Drug Administration, to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, to the Environmental Protection Agency and more, it’s all been documented here. So it should come as no surprise that the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is no different.
When it comes to dental office safety, OSHA hasn’t just dropped the ball; they never showed up to the game. OSHA has clear rules regarding how mercury is to be handled when in inorganic form (such as amalgams).1 David Kennedy, DDS, has more than thirty years experience in dental practice and sums those rules up in what he calls the “7 steps to employee protection.”2
- Inform the employee and, at a minimum, review the MSDS sheets as required by the Right to Know Act of 1987
- Provide training in how to protect yourself
- Provide all the protective equipment
- Institute engineering controls like fans and vacuums
- Employ work practices to minimize exposures such as how you drill
- Monitor both their facility when exposure is likely and medically test their employees for mercury
- Record all of the above and keep these records available for immediate inspection upon OSHA enforcement request for a minimum of 30 years
Despite their own rules, OSHA does not enforce this in most dental offices in the country, says Dr. Kennedy.
Most people are aware of the news stories that created laughter last year when the Environmental Protection Agency issued cleanup procedures in the event of a broken compact fluorescent light bulb. What most don’t know is that dental offices are subject to the Clean Water Act, under the EPA, which requires municipal water sources to enforce mercury disposal mitigation at its source (in this case the dental office).3 This is rarely done.
Studies have shown the danger of mercury from dental amalgams (silver fillings) to humans. According to one study done for the World Health Organization (WHO), the largest single source is dental amalgams at more than seven times the amount from eating seafood.4
Exposures to mercury are clearly not just limited to dentists and dental assistants (see the previous entry in this article series), but are also affecting patients. A study by the University of Iowa showed a clear correlation between the number of silver fillings (amalgams) and the amount of mercury in a person’s blood.5
Yet despite all of the evidence regarding mercury dangers and poisonings to both people and nature, the American Dental Association, the Food and Drug Administration, and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration all do nothing to inform the public or stop its continued spread.
“If you include [only] the costs of… repeated dental care, amalgams are terribly costly,” says Dr. Kennedy. That, of course, is only one aspect of the huge cost of mercury fillings to the population as a whole, which we’ll be exploring throughout this article series on silver fillings.
He has a solution, however.
“Now if we could just fire all the OSHA enforcement people who aren’t doing their jobs and hire some who would, the problem would simply go away. Since you cannot legally open the amalgam mixing capsule with a civilian (patient) present, they wouldn’t have to ban amalgam. They simply couldn’t use it because of existing laws.”
In our next segment, we’ll explore how dental mercury poisons the public water supply.
1 – OSHA Standards: Mercury from OSHA.gov
2 – Interview with Dr. David Kennedy, DDS, June 21, 2010 by Aaron Turpen, link to full text.
4 – International Programme on Chemical Safety, Environmental Health Criteria 118, Inorganic Mercury by Dr. L. Friberg for WHO, 1991.
5 – The contribution of dental amalgam to mercury in blood by K.R. Snapp, et al, University of Iowa
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.