European Commission Report Recommends
Phasing Out Dental Amalgam
By Dr. Mercola
A European Commission report by the BIO
Intelligence Service (BIOS)1 recommending the phase-out of dental amalgam
and mercury in button cell batteries has many wondering if the whole of
Europe will eliminate the use of dental mercury by 2018.
It’s about time, and hopefully it would push the United States to quickly
follow suit. Currently about half of U.S. dentists are mercury-free, and 77
percent of consumers who are informed that amalgam fillings are mostly
mercury would choose a mercury-free alternative and are willing to pay more
The European Commission has been working to reduce mercury exposure to
humans for the past seven years. While the official stand has been that
dental amalgam is safe, recent studies suggest otherwise. Sweden has already
phased out dental mercury, and several other European countries have either
significantly reduced its use or have imposed restrictions on it. The United
States has been shockingly slow to respond to mounting evidence of
significant harm from dental amalgam.
It’s important to understand that the term “silver filling” is profoundly
deceptive, as the composite material contains anywhere from 49 to 54 percent
mercury, not silver. The American Dental Association (ADA) has historically
covered up this fact, and at one time even declared that removing mercury
fillings is unethical -- despite the known fact that dental amalgam emits
mercury vapor after it is implanted in your mouth, and this mercury is
bioaccumulative and endangers your health in many ways.
The BIOS recommendations have yet to be adopted, but the European
Environmental Bureau (EEB) and the Mercury Policy Project say they welcome
the study. Project coordinator for the EEB's Zero Mercury Campaign, Elena
Lymberidi-Settimo, said the work shows that “mercury use must be phased
out,” especially since alternatives to mercury use in dentistry are
available. “It’s high time that mercury becomes the exception rather than
the rule,” she said to PR Newswire2.
The Environmental Effects of Dental Amalgams
The BIOS report primarily focuses on the environmental impacts of dental
amalgam as opposed to the health effects of having mercury, a potent
neurotoxin, in your mouth. According to the authors of the report, dental
amalgam is “a significant contributor to overall EU environmental emissions
of mercury from human activities.” The situation is identical in the US.
Still, the report offers plenty of evidence suggestive of the potential
health ramifications of the archaic and downright barbaric practice of
placing mercury in your teeth.
According to the report3:
“The current levels of mercury pollution in the EU are such that all the EU
population is exposed to mercury above the natural background level and
certain population groups such as high-level fish consumers, women of
childbearing age and children are subject to high risk levels, principally
due to their high exposure and/or high vulnerability to mercury in the form
of methylmercury, which is ingested through the diet.
This presents a risk of negative impacts on health, in particular affecting
the nervous system and diminishing intellectual capacity.
There are also environmental risks, for example the disturbance of
microbiological activity in soils and harm to wildlife populations. The
effects of mercury releases on the integrity of the ecosystem are
substantial. Various species, especially eagles, loons, kingfishers,
ospreys, ibises, river otters, mink and others that rely on fish for a large
part of their diet, have been observed to suffer adverse health and/or
Observed disorders such as effects on the muscles and nervous system,
reduced or altered mating habits, ability to reproduce, raise offspring,
catch food and avoid predators have been demonstrated to affect individual
animal viability and overall population stability.
According to calculations based on the critical load concept, more than 70
percent of the European ecosystem area is estimated to be at risk today due
to mercury, with critical loads of mercury exceeded in large parts of
western, central and southern Europe.”