The effect of Mercury on children and pregnant women

We are witnessing the beginning of an impact on the use of mercury in toothpaste around the world, after two major advances. The hard work of Consumers for Dental Choice, and the constant support of all our readers, has brought us here and protected the health of future generations.

The four -party congress (COP) of the Minamata Convention on Mercury has agreed to amend the treaty on March 25, 2022, calling for an end to the use of amalgam – or other materials. mercury filling (also known, misleadingly, is “money” filling.) – in the deciduous teeth of children under 15 and pregnant and lactating women.1

According to an email from Charlie Brown of Consumers for Dental Choice to me, the change will take effect on December 25, 2022. Good luck! ” Brown was added.

The Treaty prevented the worst

The Minamata Convention on Mercury covers a broad area of ​​mercury reduction and elimination worldwide. During a three-year campaign from 2010 to 2013, the global coalition founded by Consumers for Dental Choice, the World Alliance for Mercury-Free Dentistry, is committed to building a strong amalgam of solutions in the country. treaty.

The Minamata Convention on Mercury entered into law in 2017, initiating cross -border conferences to implement globally. At the first conference of the parties to the Minamata Convention, held in Geneva in October 2018, Brown challenged the world to adopt or improve on the European Union’s new amalgam policy, which prohibits use of mercury supplementation in children under 15 and during pregnancy. and nursing mothers, beginning July 1, 2018.2

The global campaign to end amalgam for children – as a source to end its use – reached a major milestone by March 2022 COP. With Africa and the EU leading the way, governments around the world have signaled that they no longer want to leave the most vulnerable people at risk from mercury replenishment. In a news release, Gilbert Kuepouo, representative of the International Pollutants Elimination Network (IPEN).3

“This successful decision marks the beginning of the use of dental amalgam around the world. There is a belief that mercury supplementation can have health effects in women and children. Mercury is a dangerous neurotoxin. , and can no longer be allowed to be placed in the mouths of women and children.

European Commission, FDA says against Amalgam

There are signs that the world is working together to eliminate dental mercury in recent years. In a report released by the European Commission in August 2020, it said:4

“The analysis carried out shows that the start of the main use of mercury in the EU – dental amalgam – could technically and economically… end the use of dental amalgam.”

In September 2020, the U.S. FDA also issued a safety report to educate about the use of dental amalgam in certain quantities. The FDA said these groups were “more at risk of the negative health effects of exposure to mercury”:5

Pregnant women and their growing children

Women planning to get pregnant

Nursing women and their newborns and babies

Children, preferably under 6 years of age

People with pre -existing neurological disease

People with bad virginity

People with high levels of allergies to mercury or other dental amalgam

The advice came out of concern that these populations could be exposed to dangerous levels of mercury vapor from filling, as well as the possibility of converting mercury to other mercury compounds in it. of the body. In addition, they expressed concerns about whether “high levels of mercury accumulation from dental amalgam could result in adverse health outcomes.”6

In fact, dental amalgam, which contains about 50% mercury, has been found to be harmful, as mercury is toxic to the nervous system.7 When you chew on food or gum or brush your teeth, mercury vapors are released from the filling. You’ve seen those vapors when filling up, and people with mercury filling up are higher in mercury than people without them.8 According to research published in the journal Radiology:9

“The release of mercury from amalgam compounds occurs through metal ions (mercury ions) and the melting of mercury (elements). Different conditions during and after the process repetitive actions, such as chewing, brushing, and irritation, result in the release of mercury.

While about 40% of the mercury released from amalgam goes into the salt in the form of metal ions and enters the gastrointestinal system (10% is absorbed), 60% is released. % as mercury vapor and enters and enters the fluid into the lungs. or it will be removed.

It is thought that the release of mercury into the environment during application or removal of the amalgam may have some adverse effects on the body.

A review published in the journal Biometals10 He described the acidity of mercury as “insidious,” in part because it binds to sulfur, which is found in cellular proteins necessary for functional and functional purposes. . The effects of Mercury in the body include altering membrane permeability, increasing oxidative stress and mitochondrial dysfunction and altering the function of neurotransmitters, cytokines and hormones.

“The effect of the symptoms – variable and nonspecific,” the researchers said, “can be difficult to determine and can be as severe as the damage.”11 While your body can eliminate some mercury through urine and feces, the metal also interferes with detoxification enzymes, adding to its toxicity.

Not only is mercury from tooth fillings transferred to breast milk, but mercury is released which can be blocked as the baby grows – and the development of neurons is associated with mercury damage. .12

“Mercury poisoning is very important because the symptoms are different and less specific, diagnostic tests are more often misunderstood, and management is better,” said the Biometals researchers. “Around the world, efforts are underway to eliminate the use of mercury dental amalgam.”13 That statement was made in 2014 – and by 2022 we are finally seeing signs that the use of dental amalgam is nearing completion.

Amalgam’s big producers are going to stop working

December 2020 marked the end of an eight -year campaign by Consumers for Dental Choice to convince Dentsply – the world’s largest dental product manufacturer – to stop selling amalgam. That month, Dentsply announced they had stopped selling for all amalgam products.14

Envista, the last -selling manufacturer of dental amalgam in the U.S., is now following suit, following emails from 118 neighborhoods, retailers and children’s organizations who called the company. stop buying amalgam.15 Brown said:16

“Envista is fighting history over fairness. We need to stop shipping this low -cost and sourced products to consumers who are required to participate in federal programs. The United States and Canada did not vote. ”

In 2020, Envista rejected the FDA’s advice on its sale, despite misrepresenting its 2020 file with the Securities and Exchange Commission that the FDA did not take corrective action in amalgam from 2011.17

“Envista’s plan to shed the last pennies of earning money from dental amalgam with mercury is amazing when the negative health effects are clear,” said Beatrice Olivastri of Friends of the Earth Canada in the news. debts from the constant sale of a bitter substance that is secured. “18

A letter from Envista’s attorney, sent on March 9, 2022, to Brown and Consumers for Dental Choice, confirming, however, that in the third quarter of 2021, Envista stopped working in amalgam products containing mercury. In addition, the letter reads:19

“In fact, we stopped making these products in the third quarter of 2021 and notified this decision to our customer in November of 2021. In the wake of this conversation, we have canceled. to our customer’s critical orders for mercury -containing amalgams and refer our customer to our customer.customers.

We’ve also included a strong campaign to help our customers convert their mercury -containing amalgam products to ones that don’t contain mercury. We stopped selling the products in November of 2021 and we expect all the rest to be finished by the end of Q1 2022.

Mercury teeth are not for children and pregnant women

Evista has now stopped working on mercury replenishment, and a government agency has agreed to ban the use of amalgam in children and pregnant and nursing women. , the end of mercury tooth filling is imminent. However, there are dentists who use this intoxicating product, often to those who do not choose, including low -income families, soldiers, veterans and others who use the programs. national tooth.20

In addition, most dental insurance companies refuse to fully cover dental fillings without mercury, adding protective coatings to keep this poisonous substance out of a person’s mouth. With the drying up of amalgam materials, however, and the growing belief that the world will no longer accept this ancient practice, there is a growing hope that it will soon disappear from history.

Fortunately, mercury-free supplements are available. One of the other most popular materials in amalgam is composite resin, which is made from a type of plastic reinforced with powdered glass. It is common in the U.S. and the rest of the developed world, offering popular benefits over amalgam, such as, according to Consumers for Dental Choice, namely:21

  • Community connection
  • Helps take care of teeth
  • It’s easy to fix
  • It is longer and can last longer than amalgam

If your current dentist regularly uses mercury in its work – even if they also offer mercury -free options – find a dentist that will only offer mercury -free replenishment for all ailments. And, please let your dentist know about why you are changing.

For those of you who have mercury supplements, I recommend that they be properly removed by a qualified dentist who follows professional traditions for amalgam removal. However, do not remove the filling during pregnancy or breastfeeding, as it can show you increased mercury levels.

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