NEWSFLASH:- Momentum gathers for ban on Dental Amalgam.
The first two reports below were taken from latest issue of
BIOPROBE magazine, and the last report, the new research evidence
on the Alzheimers/Amalgam link, from BIOPROBE and
other news sources. They cover dramatic new research and news
developments in the USA, Canada and Germany, casting the
strongest doubts on the safety of Dental Amalgam.
For more info from Bioprobe publications see
Also see list of links given at end of text..
AMALGAM "COVER UP" EXPOSED IN CANADA!!
"Decouverte" is the French word for "Discovery." It is the title
of a respected news program on the French network of the
Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. Decouverte's mission is to
"discover" scientific issues that might be covered up. Last
October, Decouverte aired a 16 minute report on the health risks
of amalgam following publication of Health Canada's Position
Paper on the issue. The show was so unfavorable to the
pro-amalgam position that it elicited public outcry in dental
offices everywhere in Quebec. The following week, the Order of
Dentists of Quebec published rebuttals in major newspapers
across the province to reassure dental patients of the "total safety
and biocompatibility" of dental amalgam!
On 23 February, Decouverte aired a second report on amalgam,
this time exposing Health Canada's failure to inform Canadians of
the possible dangers of this material. Since 1976, four Health
Canada reports by medical scientists have warned of these
dangers; only in 1996 did Health Canada publish a position
statement on amalgam, recommending dentists limit its use in
certain groups of patients.
The program started with host Charles Tisseyre informing
viewers that a group of Canadian dental patients had this week
announced their intention to file a class action suit against Health
Canada, the Canadian Dental Association and amalgam
manufacturers for failure to inform them of the possible side
effects of amalgams.
Since 1982, according to Canadian law, all medical devices
destined to be implanted in the human body for more than 30
days must have pre-market studies done to prove their safety and
biocompatibility. The president of the Canadian Dental
Association admitted his predecessors and the dental industry had
lobbied the government to exclude dental restorative materials
"that do not come into contact with blood" from this law.
Decouverte obtained information that this was to protect small
amalgam manufacturers who did not have the necessary funds to
complete these studies.
Dr. Pierre Blais, former risk analyst with Health Canada and
author of its 1976 report on amalgam, denounced this lack of
quality control saying how "he could manufacture cadmium or
other metal filings and sell them as amalgam and it would take
months or years before it would be found out." He shared how
the continued use of amalgam was contrary to Health Canada's
policy on mercury hygiene and pollution control: "The
Government was concerned over picograms and micrograms of
mercury in apples and looked the other way when milligrams,
one million times more, were being implanted directly into a
When asked why it took 20 years to publish a position paper on
amalgam, Richard Tobin, Director of Health Canada's Medical
Devices Bureau, said in interview that he was not aware that
Canadians were not informed of the possible dangers of amalgam
and that the risk was deemed minimal anyway. Questioned about
the Quebec Order of Dentists advertisement claiming "total
safety" of amalgam mercury exposure, Dr. Tobin said he was not
in agreement with it and he would have to discuss it with the
Order. The president of the Quebec Order of Dentists declined
invitation to be interviewed and explain his point of view on
Dr. Mark Richardson's studies on the relative risks of mercury in
amalgams and bisphenol-A in composites were quoted: The
average Canadian, with 8 amalgams, was 3.5 times over the daily
threshold limit for mercury exposure, whereas the patient with 8
composites was 125 times UNDER the daily threshold limit
value for escaping bisphenols-A.
The program concluded with both CDA President, Dr. Barry
Dolman, and Dr. Pierre Blais agreeing, in the end, that the dental
patient must beware and take responsibility for his/her own
health. Health Canada is presently revamping its medical devices
policies; there are currently no plans to require pre-market studies
Comment: Richard Tobin of Health Canada was courageous to
answer questions from reporter Michel Rochon, but he just did
not have the answers! The fact that the Order of Dentists,
Quebec's licensing body and government appointed public
protector, would not appear on the program was very detrimental
to them. Health Canada's disagreement with their advertisement
on the "total safety" of amalgam mercury exposure and their
refusal to appear on the show further damaged their rapidly
diminishing credibility on the dental amalgam controversy.
Signed Pierre Larose
BIO-PROBE COMMENT: We are grateful to Dr. Pierre
Larose for providing this timely report on the Decouverte
program. The key factor in this important expose' is the fact that
four internal studies by Health Canada scientists were buried.
The Medical Devices Act of Canada mandates Health Canada
with the "duty to inform", a duty which was clearly and
shamefully ignored. Dr. Pierre Blais, in a memorandum to the
Chief of the Division of Medicine for Health Canada on his 1976
study questioning the safety of amalgam mercury, stated: "The
potential hazards associated with the [amalgam] products are so
transparently obvious that we cannot even appear to ignore it
without attracting ridicule."
The fact that Health Canada failed to inform the Canadian
citizens of these four studies for twenty years demands
accountability from the responsible officials. The
recommendations of these studies should not have been ignored,
in favor of yielding to the influence of the dental establishment,
for whatever reason. The first responsibility of the Health
Canada officials is supposed to be to the citizens, not to a special
interest group. The following article adds further insight to the
rapidly developing situation in Canada.
AMALGAM CLASS ACTION SUIT IN CANADA
On 17 February 1997, two organizations provided press releases
announcing a possible class action suit against dental amalgam in
Canada. These organizations are "Canadians for Mercury Relief
(CFMR)" in Toronto and "Alliance For Public Accountability
(AFPA)" in Ottawa.
The CFMR release opened with: "The silver dental fillings that
you have been receiving are comprised of fifty percent mercury
and have been exposing you to mercury vapor concentrations in
your mouth, that in many cases exceeds the World Health
Organization's Safe Occupational Exposure Limits by as much as
1200%." The release went on to cite the twenty year old study of
Dr. Pierre Blais for Health Canada. A spokesperson for CFMR
emphasized that the purpose of the lawsuit was to educate
Canadians and dentists alike as to their options and also the
importance of proper procedures for the removal of mercury
CFMR has retained the Toronto law firm of Paroian, Raphael,
Courey, Cohen & Houston to take preliminary steps prior to the
commencement of a class action lawsuit. The primary thrust of
the potential legal action is based on the fact that Health Canada
failed in its duty to inform the citizens of Canada of the results of
its own internal studies questioning the safety of mercury
exposure from dental amalgam fillings.
The AFPA news release expressed full support for the CFMR
action and stated: "We believe that it is imperative that their
message be heard, as it affects so many Canadians. Citizens have
a right to know the potential risks they are taking in using
Mercury Amalgam." The two groups held a joint news
conference at the law firm at 10:00 am on Thursday, 20 February
AMALGAM BAN DEMANDED IN GERMANY
The following Press Release From Germany has been translated
by Mats Hanson, Ph.D. of Sweden.
BUND, Friends of the earth. The Association of Environment
and Environmental Protection, Germany. Dunanstrasse 16,
Freiburg/Bonn, 28 January 1997
Presentation of the results of the largest trial on mercury release
from dental amalgam fillings in world,
BUND demands: <R>No respite for amalgam - Amalgam
Amalgam has been the dental filling material of choice since 150
years. The criticism of this debated material has now been
further strengthened after the current results of the Tbingen
The largest test In the world on mercury release from amalgam
fillings into the saliva was initiated in summer 1995 by BUND
and carried out by the department of environmental analysis at the
university of Tbingen. After a few hundred tests at the BUND-
Environmental exhibition KO-95 in Ulm had shown a mean of
more than four times higher mercury levels in the saliva than the
Bundesgesundheitsamt had reported, BUND decided to act
because of apparent governmental inactivity. Funded by the
MOMO-Children Foundation, we engaged the environmental
analytical group at the university of Tbingen for the scientific
realization of the largest experiment in the world on mercury
release from dental amalgam fillings. The analysis of the data
have been completed and sent to the Bundesinstitut fr
Arzneimittel und Medizinprodukte for publication.
Part 1: Mercury concentration In saliva from amalgam
In the first part of the study mercury levels in the saliva were
measured in 20,000 persons and related to the number of
amalgam fillings. The aim was to evaluate whether and to what
degree there was an exposure to mercury from amalgam fillings.
The second part of the study examined the relation between the
levels of mercury In saliva and a special spectrum of symptoms.
Mercury levels strongly elevated.
The more than 4-5 times higher mercury levels in saliva
compared to the levels reported by the former
Bundesgesundheitsamt in 1984 (now Bundesinstitut fr
Arzneimittels und Medizinalprodukte) caused alarm, both among
the public as well as among professionals. The continuation of
the analyses were increasingly made more and more difficult for
the scientists at the University of Tbingen, a sign of the alarming
nature of the results. In addition to a great deal of irrelevant
criticism, it was also reported that WHO had distanced itself from
interpretations of the Tbingen study, which also proved to be
false. Especially the exceeding of the established tolerable limits
caused worry: The total tolerable weekly uptake of mercury
(including the vapor phase) of WHO was exceeded. About 43 %
of the test persons had higher, often several fold, exposure than
the permissible intake. Since it has already been demonstrated
that the mercury in the saliva is dissolved but not particulate, one
has to calculate with a much higher absorption and mercury load
than previously supposed. Of importance is that in the 20-39
year old group (including women in the fertile ages) the tolerable
levels were especially often exceeded. This can be explained by
the fact that the number of fillings in this group is especially high
with 9-11 fillings, compared to a mean of 8 in the general
German population. The tolerable intake was also often
exceeded for children with fewer fillings because of their lower
Mercury load from amalgam fillings.
As a further statistical result the study established that the
mercury concentration in saliva (before and after chewing)
depends on the number amalgam fillings. The exposure lo
mercury from amalgam fillings has been scientifically debated,
The results from the Tbingen study clearly show an increased
mercury load from amalgam fillings.
Saliva test a method to establish the mercury load.
The criticism of the Tbingen amalgam study concentrated on the
question whether saliva was a better medium than for instance
blood and urine to evaluate mercury exposure, Recent research
confirms the advantages of the saliva test. The load on the oral
cavity and the gastrointestinal tract can be estimated better with
the saliva test than with any other available method. Hg can be
present in both the oral cavity and the gastrointestinal tract
without being detectable In blood or urine. It is clear that blood
and urine do not reflect the Hg-concentration in the oral
cavity/upper airways and in the gastrointestinal tract. In addition,
it was not possible to obtain a certification/standardization for
either blood (Dtsch Ges fr Arbeitsmed) or urine (Dtsch Ges fr
Kiln Chem) in the exposure range relevant for amalgam fillings.
In contrast, a standardization test by the State Medical Dept of
Stuttgart confirmed the excellent reproducibility for the saliva
test; laboratories which processed the samples with the same
method obtained consistent results; the standard error between the
10 laboratories was less than 15 %.
Part 2. Measured levels In saliva and disease symptoms.
Every saliva test was accompanied by a questionnaire In which
the persons were asked for 30 symptoms. The analytical group at
Tbingen university evaluated 17500 completely answered
questionnaires. The question was whether there was a significant
relation between report of a symptom and the measured level of
Hg in the saliva after chewing.
It has to be stressed that the established relation has a direct
mathematical and statistical character and should not be casually
interpreted. A statistically significant difference does not
automatically mean a medical or biological relevance. Not even
multi variance analysis can decide which relations are caused by
chance and which by a casual relation.
Relation between symptoms and mercury concentrations in
saliva after chewing.
The Tbingen amalgam study could establish in the especially
examined group of 21-40 year old persons a statistically
significant relation between mercury levels in saliva and
symptoms. Only symptoms which are characteristic of subacute
or chronic mercury exposure in the low-level range were studied.
The set of symptoms are often called micromercurialism in
There was a significant relation between the measured mercury
concentration and the following symptoms:
1. Mouth-oral cavity: Bleeding gingiva, metal taste, burning
2. Central nervous system: Concentration difficulties, impaired
memory, sleep disturbances, lack of initiative, nervousness.
3. Gastrointestinal tract: not specified; further research is needed
to establish the diseases which are covered by the non- specific
label gastrointestinal problems.
Plausibility and explainability of the demonstrated
In addition to high levels of mercury in saliva there has also been
demonstrated high levels In gingiva, pulp, oral mucosa, dentine,
roots and jaw bone. Amalgam fillings, as described in the
literature, lead to increased inflammation of the gingiva. In
addition the oral cavity will be affected by the Hg-vapor released
by the fillings. Experiments with cell cultures demonstrated that
the Hg-levels measured in the oral tissues (up to 8000 ng/g in the
mucosa) can lead to damage to human cells. It has also been
described that unpolished amalgam fillings can damage nearby
cells more than polished ones.
Also for the gastrointestinal tract it has been demonstrated that
there are high levels of mercury in the intestinal wall, intestinal
lymph nodes and in feces. The cause of this is that the mercury
which is swallowed with the saliva is only absorbed to 10% and
the rest remains in the gastrointestinal tract.
For both these body parts it has been established that blood and
urine levels are unsuitable to evaluate the mercury load. The
symptoms from the central nervous system show a remarkable
similarity with the classical mercury symptoms described in the
literature. For instance, effects of mercury on memory and
concentration has been repeatedly described in the literature.
The Tbingen group for environmental analysis stress that some
aspects of the study require further examination. For instance,
the relationships between mercury exposure to metal allergy, or
loss of hair, or the relationship to involuntary infertility. In
of these considerations, tendencies were noted, however,
extensive and expensive further questionnaires are required. It
should be stressed that the results are statistical and do not
establish a causal relation for single cases for any symptom.
After the statistical relations found in the study, persons who
complain over problems with amalgam must not further be
dismissed a "Ecochondriacs" or Hypochondriacs," and
furthermore a possible Hg-load must be take into account in the
anamnesis, especially when the patients exhibit the described
Amalgam is with certainty not the material for the future, the
Tbingen group stress, however they also warn for exaggerated
panic reactions. As in medicine In general, In every single case
one must together with the treating doctor evaluate whether an
amalgam removal is necessary and if yes, how rapidly a removal
should take place.
The relations found, which as stated above, should not be
causally interpreted, however clearly prove that humans will be
exposed to a continuous load of mercury from amalgam fillings.
The filling material amalgam is thus suspected of being able to
cause damage to health,
This should be sufficient for health policy measures and at last
start to end the amalgam era.
Demands by BUND as a consequence of the amalgam study:
- BUND demands that minister of health, Seehofer, immediately
acts on the basis that: Amalgam, as an additional risk factor, does
not belong in the oral cavity.
- The amalgam ban should not only be restricted to pregnant
women and children but should immediately be general for
- The university dental clinics must immediately remove the
technique of amalgam placement from their educational agenda,
as has already happened in renowned dental clinics in
- Teaching and education on amalgam problems, safer removal
techniques for amalgam filling and on plastic alternatives for
- Further studies are indicated by the amalgam study. The
Minister of Health Seehofer must not further burden
environmental organizations with the expenses,
- BUND demands that the Minister of Health release funds for
follow-up studies at the Uuniversity of Tbingen.
- After an overdue amalgam ban the costs for alternative materials
must be taken over by the insurance s stem
Dental metal test can be mediated by all pharmacies. BUND can,
in cooperation with the environmental analytical group at
Tbingen, offer under the name SALIVAGAM a dental metal
test. This can be mediated by all pharmacies. In addition to
mercury levels in saliva all other dental metal are analyzed.
Further information in all pharmacies and from
BUND-Umweltlabor, Tel: 0781/9383-21, Fox-11
For answers to scientific matters please contact Dr E Roller, Dr.
HD Wolss, KH Maier, AK Umweltanalytik, Univ. of Tbingen,
Postfach 210352, D-72026 Tbingen, tel 07071/2984802.
Interested journalists can obtain detailed information from
BUND, Dunanstrasse 16. D-79110 Freiburg, Tel:
ALARMING NEW RESEARCH EVIDENCE FROM THE
This is dated Dec 1996 - quite recent. Dr Haleys is a biochemist
of world repute - his work is already well known. He is a
member of the University of Kentucky's huge multi-million dollar
long-term research project examining the causes a Alzheimers
Disease - there are probably very few more eminent or
knowledgable in this field. Dr Murray Vimy is also a researcher
of repute, and a former World Health Organisation consultant.
The journal from which the full extract is quoted (FASEB) is a
highly regarded and main-stream scientific medical publication.
The following quote is from The Valley Advocate, December 5,
"A team of scientists led by Dr. Boyd Haley recently completed a
study exposing six laboratory rats to a typical intake of amalgam
mercury vapor, diluted to account for the size difference between
rats and humans. To the researchers' astonsihment, every rat
developed symptoms and brain tissue damage indistinguishable
from that of Alzheimer's Disease patients. The reseachers then
repeated their experiment only to find the same results. While the
jury is still out for human patients, the leader of the research team
had seen enough. Dr.Bronte's new book The Mercury in Your
Mouth: The Truth About 'Silver' Dental Fillings quotes Dr.
Haley's response to the group's findings. 'The results of this
experiment are terrifying,' he said. 'I'm getting the rest of my
fillings taken out right now, and I've asked my wife to have hers
Thanks to Dagfinn Reiersol for supplying this newspaper quote..
See his page: http://home.sol.no/reiersol/amalgam.htm
TITLE: Mercury Vapor Exposure Inhibits Tubulin Binding to
GTP In Rat Brain: A Molecular Lesion Also Present in Human
AUTHORS: Lorscheider, FL; Vimy, MJ; Pendergrass, JC;
SOURCE: FASEB J. 9(4): A-3845. FASEB Annual Meeting,
Atlanta, Georgia, 10th March 1995.
ABSTRACT: Methyl mercury will interact with tubulin causing
disassembly of microtubules that function to maintain neurite
structure. Numerous reports also establish that mercury vapor
(Hgo) is continuously released from "silver" amalgam tooth
fillings into mouth air. In the present study rats were exposed to
Hgo 4 h/day for 0, 2, 7, 14 and 28 days at 250 mcg Hg/m 3 air, a
concentration present in mouth air of some humans with large
numbers of amalgam fillings. Average rat brain Hg
concentrations increased significantly (40-100 fold) with duration
of Hgo exposure. By day 14 of Hgo exposure, photoaffinity
labelling of the b-subunit of the tubulin dimer with [a32
P]8N3GTP in brain homogenates was decreased 75%, as seen on
analysis of SDS-PAGE autoradiograms.
The identical neurochemical lesion of similar magnitude is
evident in Alzheimer brain homogenates when compared to
human age-matched controls. Since the rate of tubulin
polymerization is dependent upon binding of tubulin dimers to
GTP, we conclude that chronic inhalation of low-level Hgo can
inhibit polymerization of tubulin essential for formation of
BIO-PROBE COMMENT: This study represents the latest
information possibly connecting mercury to Alzheimer's Disease
(AD). The information began some ten years ago with human
autopsy studies conducted at the University of Kentucky. Three
published studies showed high levels of mercury in AD brains
compared to controls; first in whole brain tissue, then regional
levels where AD damage is predominant, and finally in cellular
and subcellular fractions. Next, other scientists the University of
Kentucky found AD-type damage in rats fed mercury, while no
damage was found in the aluminum-fed rats. The next step was
the discovery of the AD-type molecular lesion found in rats that
were fed mercuric chloride in drinking water. This latest study
found the AD-type molecular lesion in rats that were
administered mercury vapor in the amounts to which some
humans with large numbers of amalgam fillings are exposed.
http://ourworld.compuserve.com/homepages/pcsol (UK Amalgam page)
http://www.vimy-dentistry.com/ (Dr Vimys page)
http://www.algonet.se/~leif/AmFAQigr.html (A good FAQ on the
http://emporium.turnpike.net/P/PDHA/health.htm (IAOMT's web page)
http://home.sol.no/reiersol/amalgam.htm (Recent amalgam
http://vest.gu.se/~bosse/MercuryPage.html (Mercury page)
http://www.tiac.net/users/mgold/dental/dental.html (Golds page)
http://www.teleport.com/~ctseng/cfs.html (Jeff clarks
http://22.214.171.124/wholmed/lphs18.htm (Amalgam in your
http://www.2cowherd.net/q/ (DaveQ's MS page)
http://www.bioprobe.com (Bioprobe - books on
http://www.envprevhealthctratl.com/merc_tox.htm (Dr Edelsons Mercury
http://www.web-maker.com/dentists/dentists.htm (John Hogans site)
http://www.selene.com/healthlink/amalgam.html (Rethinking Amalgam
http://www.unpronounceable.com/amalgam/index.html (Crusade against
http://www.dental-revision.org/cover.htm (Discussion of Amalgam
http://www.isl.net/~hoffcomp/amalgam.html (Kip Sullivans text)
Amalgam-Immune system link)
http://www.fplc.edu/risk/vol2/spring/royal.htm (Mike Royals Amalgam
http://www.doubleclickd.com/ltexpo96/source/fillings.html (Dr Parks
http://www.community-care.org.uk/ME/behan1.html (Prof Behans report
on ME-toxin link?)
http://www.sukel.com/fillings.htm (Dr Phillip Sukel DDS
- "The silver filling controversy - pro & cons..)
http://mars.execulink.com/~manager/fuartcl4.htm (Is Amalgam Safe?)
http://www.all-natural.com/merceff1.html (Biological fx of Hg
http://www.waterinfo.com/amalgam.HTM (Hg pollution from
Dental Practice wastewater)
http://main.chem.ohiou.edu/~chem330/tox330_2.html (Good article of
toxins - inc Amalgam/Mercury)
http://www.moreton.com.au/ana/handbook/amalgam.htm (access n Able -
Australian Health site)
http://www.isl.net/~hoffcomp/monjourn.html (Shirleys personal
struggle with Alzheimers, possible Hg link?)
documentary complete text)
To learn more about the Amalgam safety issue (or lack of) visit:-