Organic Consumers Association

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The Fight for Mercury-Free Dentistry Is Now International

For related articles and more information, please visit OCA's Health Issues page and our Appetite For a Change page.

Today we begin the third Mercury-free Dentistry Week. We set aside an entire week for three reasons.

1. First, we build awareness of this stark fact: Dental amalgam is 50 percent mercury.

Through misleading marketing to the public and through gagging dentists who tried to speak the truth via its control over dental boards, the American Dental Association (ADA) convinced most consumers and parents that dental amalgams are "silver fillings." But amalgam has almost twice as much mercury as silver. What a public deception!

We honor the world's mercury-free dentists: those who refuse to put in mercury fillings, those who stand up to the American Dental Association, those who tell you the truth -- the whole truth -- when you are in the dental chair.     

2. Second, we celebrate the enormous successes of the past year by the Campaign for Mercury-Free Dentistry.

In January in Geneva, at its 5th and final negotiation session, delegates from over 140 nations agreed to a treaty that will address mercury. Amalgam is part of that treaty - every nation must take concrete steps to phase down its use, and a mechanism exists to petition for a full world phase-out.

The treaty is having a direct impact in the United States. On Easter Sunday, the largest newspaper in the Midwest, the Chicago Tribune, published a story with this headline excerpt: "Momentum is building to phase out dental amalgam."

Giving credit where it is due, we today wish to spotlight the extraordinary work of The Campaign for Mercury-Free Dentistry -- the project organized and led by Charlie Brown of Consumers for Dental Choice.     

3. Third, we chart the roadmap to victory.

The treaty has a road map for how to phase down amalgam - switch dental school curriculum to composites as the primary material; re-train dentists, change insurance to prefer alternatives, develop a national plan to reduce amalgam use, etc.

The Campaign for Mercury-Free Dentistry is not waiting for this treaty to be formally signed and ratified; from January on, Charlie and his team hit the ground running, on every continent.

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