Target: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius
Goal: Ban brain-damaging mercury from being used in dental fillings.
Despite the fact that mercury is classified as a toxic substance in the U.S., it is currently still heavily used in dental fillings. These fillings have been shown to cause brain damage that results in memory and hearing loss, damage to motor skills, and other serious defects of the central nervous system. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services must ban the use of mercury in dental fillings.
Mercury can be absorbed into the body through inhalation, ingestion, and skin absorption. While the FDA claims that mercury in fillings won’t absorb into the body, studies show that people with these fillings have higher amounts of mercury in their saliva. Mercury is known to accumulate in the body, meaning that slow absorption over the years can cause gradual health deterioration that’s not evident until it’s too late. Worse still, exposure to mercury is considered much more dangerous when inhaled, which is a serious risk during the application or removal of dental fillings.
Mercury poisoning is considered to be more harmful than lead poisoning. It’s implicated in many types of brain damage, including the loss of hearing, memory, and motor skills and the development of autism. Several European countries have banned the use of mercury in dental work, but the United States continues to offer it as a low-cost alternative to composite fillings. Cutting costs is a poor excuse to put a human being at risk for brain damage.
With the danger of mercury poisoning so apparent and serious, it’s unforgivable that we still use this material in the mouths of American children. By signing the petition below, you can ask Kathleen Sebelius, Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services, to ban the use of mercury in dental fillings.
Dear Secretary Sebelius,
For years our country has debated the safety of mercury in dental fillings, with expert opinion constantly fluctuating and never resolute. While we flip-flop over details, much of Europe has already banned the use of mercury-containing amalgam fillings. This ban is for good reason, as studies have shown that individuals with amalgam fillings have higher levels of mercury in their saliva, an unmistakable sign that the substance is being absorbed. This toxic metal accumulates in the human body and is known to cause an array of health defects, including serious brain damage. And yet we continue to allow the use of this poison in the mouths of our children.
It is time our country realized that any risk of mercury poisoning, no matter how small, is too much. To continue the use of a toxic substance in dental material is beyond irresponsible. We owe it to our children to take this hazard seriously. Please help end this grave health concern by banning the use of mercury in dental fillings.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: makelessnoise via Flickr.