Federal health advisers to the FDA have rejected a government report that mercury tooth fillings are safe, saying that the conclusion is not reasonable. The panel also stated that a large federal review of data fails to clearly and objectively present the current body of knowledge on the subject. During the two day hearing in early September, dozens of people—including activists, citizens, dentists and dental assistants—complained of ill health effects that they attribuuted to mercury fillings.
Along with others, MPP’s director testified before the 25 Member panel on September 7th. MPP also showed 7 minutes of a documentary from Norway called Mercury Girls which showed historical film of Norwegian dental nurses (assistants) working with amalgam in their bare hands. In 2005 the Norwegian Broadcasting Company examined complaints of dental nurses who had high levels of mercury. The reports of high mercury exposure was shocking. In the study results between the dental nurses and a control group, the results even surprised the scientists. 25% of the dental nurses reported having neurological problems. 36% of the dental nurses had tremors compared to 8% in the control group. 14% of the dental nurses had problems with memory vs the control group having no problems with memory. 18% of the dental nurses were depressed compared to 4% in the control group. 21% of the dental nurses had heart and lung problems, compared to 5 % of the control group. After the dental nurses saw the documentary in Norway and Denmark, they reported that their offspring was affected too, and a second documentary was produced, entitled Mercury Children. Bender’s presentation concluded with recommendations that 1) amalgam placement needs to be banned during pregnancy and 2) dental assistants should be placed on leave during pregnancy.