• By Michael Weitzman
  • 29 Mar, 2017

Holistic health care, based on the philosophy of holism, is a system of concepts, principles, and multidisciplinary approaches which together promote, maintain, and optimize a person’s physical, psychological, social, spiritual, and environmental levels of well-being and which prevent and treat illness in any of these dimensions. A state of high- level wellness exists when there is within a person a balance among these interdependent dimensions and between the individual and the environment. A state of disease/illness exists when such a balance is lacking.

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By Michael Weitzman 20 Apr, 2017
By Michael Weitzman 29 Mar, 2017

The chemical most commonly used to fluoridate America's drinking water is associated with an increase in children's blood lead levels. Most studies that purport fluoridation's safety and effectiveness in preventing cavities use the chemical sodium fluoride. However, most communities inject cheaper silicofluorides (fluosilicic acid and sodium silicofluoride) into their drinking water based on the theory that each chemical comes apart totally, so that freed fluoride can incorporate into tooth enamel. However, the silicofluorides (SiF) do not separate completely, as sodium fluoride does, As a result, water treatment with silicofluorides apparently functions to increase the cellular uptake of lead.


In research published in the International Journal of Environmental Studies (September 1999), Masters and Coplan studied lead screening data from 280,000 Massachusetts children. They found that average blood lead levels are significantly higher in children living in communities whose water is treated with silicofluorides. Data from the Third National Health and Nutrition Evaluation Survey (NHANES III) and a survey of over 120,000 children in New York towns (population 15,000 to 75,000) corroborate this effect. Masters and Coplan reported that some minorities are especially at risk in high SiF exposure areas, where Black and Mexican American children have significantly higher blood lead levels than they do in unfluoridated communities.

Silicofluorides are used by over 90% of U.S. fluoridated towns and cities. Ironically, children with higher blood lead levels also have more tooth decay (Journal of the American Medical Association, June 23/30, 1999 reviewed in a previous newsletter). So water fluoridation may prove to cause tooth decay rather than prevent it. This research is just another block stacked on a giant wall of evidence that proves fluoridation is neither safe nor effective -- no matter what fluoride chemical is used.

Lead poisoning can cause learning disabilities, behavioral problems, and at high levels, seizures, coma and even death, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC). Lead is a highly significant risk factor in predicting higher rates of crime, attention deficit disorder or hyperactivity and learning disabilities. Higher rates of violent crime and substance abuse in silicofluoridated communities were also found in research that is yet to be published.

Web sites:


CONTACT: Paul Beeber, J.D., P.O. Box 263, Old Bethpage, NY, 18804-0263, phone, 516-433-8882, fax, 516-433-8932,   [email protected]   ; or Professor Roger D. Masters, Ph.D., 603-646-2153, or fax, 603-646-0508,   [email protected]   /

COMMENT: If you still don’t believe fluoride is a toxin that should be avoided not only in your water and toothpaste but also at your dentist, then I would recommend you look at the fluoride links on my “Links” tab at my home page at www.mercola.com .


By Michael Weitzman 29 Mar, 2017
The effectiveness of water fluoridation has been documented in scientific literature for well over 55 years. Even before the first community fluoridation program began in 1945, data from the 1930s and 1940s revealed 50-60% lower tooth decay rates in children consuming naturally occurring, optimally fluoridated water compared to children consuming fluoride-deficient water. Since that time, numerous studies have been published making fluoridation one of the most widely studied public health measures in history. Studies prove water fluoridation continues to be effective in reducing tooth decay by 20-40%, even in an era with widespread availability of fluoride from other sources, such as fluoride toothpaste.

In April 1999, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) proclaimed community water fluoridation as one of 10 great public health achievements of the 20th century. The list of achievements, which also includes vaccinations and control of infectious diseases, was developed to highlight significant contributions that impact the health and well being of the public. Additionally, in 2001, the CDC restated, “Community water fluoridation is a safe, effective and inexpensive way to prevent dental caries.” The CDC not only recommended continuation of fluoridation but also called for its adoption in additional U.S. communities.  

In August 2002, the U.S. Task Force on Community Preventive Services concluded that the evidence for the effectiveness of fluoridation is strong based on the number and quality of studies that have been done, the magnitude of observed benefits and the consistency of the findings. The Task Force issued a strong recommendation that water fluoridation be included as part of a comprehensive population-based strategy to prevent or control tooth decay in communities.  

The American Dental Association (ADA) continues to endorse fluoridation of community water supplies as safe and effective for preventing tooth decay. This support has been the Association’s position since policy was first adopted in 1950. Based on data for 2000, approximately 162 million people (two-thirds of the population) in the United States are served by public water systems that are fluoridated. The ADA, along with state and local dental societies, continues to work with federal, state, and local agencies to increase the number of communities benefiting from water fluoridation.  

For more information regarding fluoride and fluoridation, visit the American Dental Association’s “Fluoride and Fluoridation” Web site at   http://www.ada.org/goto/fluoride .  

American Dental Association
By Michael Weitzman 29 Mar, 2017
CHICAGO, April 7, 2006 — After reviewing a recently published paper on a possible association between fluoride in water and osteosarcoma (a rare form of bone cancer), the ADA remains confident that community water fluoridation is a safe, effective public health measure for preventing tooth decay.  

The ADA agrees with the paper’s authors that their work constitutes an “exploratory analysis” that will require scientific confirmation to confirm or refute the findings. The data in this paper is simply one piece of a much more comprehensive 15-year study by the Harvard School of Dental Medicine scheduled for publication later this summer. The principal investigator of the larger Harvard study has advised against drawing conclusions before seeing the full study, which will not suggest an overall association between fluoride and osteosarcoma, he states. Further, an “association” found in one, limited study, falls far below any scientific standard needed to establish a cause-and-effect relationship. In fact, after more than 60 years of rigorous scientific study of water fluoridation, the overwhelming weight of scientific evidences does not show an association with osteosarcoma.  

Bottom line: Nothing in this study should deter the public from continuing to enjoy the proven health benefits of optimally fluoridated water.  

American Dental Association
By Michael Weitzman 29 Mar, 2017
by Tim O'Shea, DC

(This article is excerpted from Dr. O'Shea's revised edition of The Sanctity of Human Blood - used with permission)  

Inquiry into vaccine safety is exploding like never before, even in the popular press. Research coming from dozens of mainstream medical studies can no longer be easily suppressed, as it has been in the past, especially with the prevalence of online information exchange.  

Last September, some 2,000 people, mostly MDs, assembled at the Town and Country resort in San Diego to hear the latest research on autism. Following the April 2000 Congressional hearings on autism and vaccines, this epidemic can no longer be ignored.  

The figure of one autistic infant for every 150 is now widely documented.  

Dr. Stephanie Cave presented enlightening data on mercury toxicity, drawn largely from the brilliant work of Sallie Bernard. Dr. Cave explained how: By age two, American children have received 237 micrograms of mercury through vaccines alone, which far exceeds current EPA "safe" levels of .1 mcg/kg. per day. That's one-tenth of a microgram, not one microgram.  

Three days in particular may be singled out as spectacularly toxic for infants:
  • Day of birth: hepatitis B-12 mcg mercury
    30 x safe level
  • At 4 months: DTaP and HiB on same day - 50 mcg mercury
    60 x safe level
  • At 6 months: Hep B, Polio - 62.5 mcg mercury
    78 x safe level
  • At 15 months the child receives another 50 mcg
    41 x safe level
These figures are calculated for an infant's average weight in kilograms for each age. These one-day blasts of mercury are called "bolus doses". Although they far exceed "safe" levels, there has never been any research conducted on the toxicity of such bolus doses of mercury given to infants all these years.  


Historically, the toxicity of mercury has been known for more than a century. The Mad Hatter was more than a fantasy character from Alice in Wonderland. Mad Hatter's disease became well known in England in the mid-1800s, when hat-makers were subject to inhaling the vapors from the mercury-based stiffening compound they used on felt to make top hats.  

Sources of Mercury  

It is interesting to learn that common household remedies that were used up into the 1960s like mercurochrome and "teething powder" were often the cause of acute mercury poisoning and disease. In the U.S., EPA mercury toxicity studies have involved contamination from fish, air, and other environmental sources.  

Methylmercury has long been associated with serious neurological disorders, demyelinating diseases, gut disease, and visual damage. The mercury in vaccines, however, is in the form of thimerosal, which is 50 times more toxic than plain old mercury.  

Reasons for this include:
  • Injected mercury is far more toxic than ingested mercury.
  • There's no blood-brain barrier in infants.
  • Mercury accumulates in brain cells and nerves.
  • Infants don't produce bile, which is necessary to excrete mercury.
Thimerosal becomes organic mercury  

Once it is in nerve tissue, it is converted irreversibly to its inorganic form. Thimerosal is a much more toxic form of mercury than one would get from eating open-sea fish; it has to do with the difficulty of clearing thimerosal from the blood.  

Thimerosal is converted to ethylmercury, an organic form that has a preference for nerve cells.  

Without a complete blood-brain barrier, an infant's brain and spinal cord are sitting ducks. Once in the nerve cells, mercury is changed back to the inorganic form and becomes tightly bound. Mercury can then remain for years, like a time-release capsule, causing permanent degeneration and death of brain cells.  

Bernard also notes that the body normally clears mercury by fixing it to bile, but before six months of age, infants don't produce bile. Result: mercury can't be excreted.  

Four separate government agencies have set safe levels for methylmercury, but no safe levels have ever been set for thimerosal, because thimerosal isn't included in toxicity studies. Theoretically, that means that the above excesses of safe levels of mercury on the single days listed above are actually 50 times higher.  

Does the fact that the mercury is accompanied by a vaccine somehow place it above scrutiny? The Sallie Bernard study of vaccines and mercury toxicity was probably the main reason Congress began to see the obvious correlation.  

Mercury And Vaccines  

Here's a curious "coincidence." In the late 1930s, Leo Kanner identified autism as a new type of mental disorder. So when was thimerosal introduced into vaccines? The 1930s  

A few years ago, Bernard and her associates began to notice a striking similarity between the symptoms of autism and the symptoms of mercury poisoning. The more research she did, the more it seemed that these two diseases were virtually identical.  

Autism and mercury poisoning damage the: brain/nerve cells; eyes; immune system; gastrointestinal system; muscle control; and the speech center.  

Although mercury toxicity has been studied for decades, and EPA safety levels have been set, during all that time a child's greatest exposure to mercury - thimerosal in vaccines - was never even included in the toxicity studies!  

The talk has always been about methylmercury from seafood and the environment, totally ignoring the two most toxic sources of mercury for children: vaccines and dental amalgams. The EPA has no jurisdiction over drugs.  

That's the FDA's job. This is why vaccines and amalgams don't even figure into the equation when it comes to setting "safe" levels of mercury. But the FDA does have jurisdiction over drugs and drug companies, right? And over drug company publications, like the Merck Manual, the standard cookbook for drugs and diseases found in every doctor's office in the world.  

Surely the FDA, as the government agency charged with safeguarding the nation's health, would want the section on mercury toxicity to warn doctors about the two biggest sources for children: thimerosal and dental amalgams, wouldn't you think?  

Yet looking at the Merck Manual (1999), in the section on mercury poisoning (p. 2636), thimerosal and dental amalgams again are not even mentioned!  

How can this be, when mercury is widely acknowledged as the third most deadly toxin in the world and thimerosal and amalgams dwarf the trace amounts of mercury from fish and other environmental sources of mercury? Only one thing can a blackout information over an entire area of study for years at a time in this way - big money.  

Such an omission probably wouldn't have anything to do with the revolving door that exists between the FDA; the EPA; the NIH;  

"and the sweet positions held by their members before and after those grueling years of public service; or with the 800 waivers of the conflict of interest rule that the FDA has granted in the past two years to "experts," who are paid consultants to the drug companies-consultants who are also members of the FDA advisory committees that make decisions about whether or not to approve vaccines and drugs..." (USA Today, Sept. 25, 2000)  

No, of course not.  

Soaking up the Mercury  

In the San Diego conference on autism, Dr. Amy Holmes gave perhaps the only lucid presentation about treatment. She explained how chelating drugs alone, which go through the blood like Pac Man munching up mercury, don't do much good for autism.  

That's because most mercury clears from the blood very soon. Mercury in thimerosal is stored in the gut, liver and brain, and as previously mentioned, becomes very tightly bound to the cells. Once inside those cells, or inside the blood-brain barrier, the mercury is reconverted back to its inorganic form.  

Locked into these cells, the mercury can then do either immediate cell damage or become latent and cause the onset of autism, brain disorders, or digestive chaos years later. Dr. Holmes reported success using alphalipoic acid as an agent to cross the blood-brain barrier to soak up mercury. Once the mercury is brought back into the bloodstream, standard chelators like DMSA can then take it out.  

Dr. Holmes has used her protocol on about 300 autistics so far, and shows consistent increases in IQ scores.  

FDA: Protector of Whom?  

In the face of all this new awareness, it was astounding that in July 2000 the FDA came out with the "parallel-universe" pronouncement that "vaccines have safe levels of mercury." Especially after their 1998 position:  

"... over-the-counter drug products containing thimerosal and other mercury forms are not generally recognized as safe and effective." As if there were any doubt as to who's really running the show, inconceivable also is the impotence of FDA's request to the vaccine manufacturers to discontinue the use of thimerosal in vaccines. The same month that MMWR published this, the CDC made the same milquetoast request.  

It's a bit like saying: "Hey guys, since all these kids are turning into vegetables and most of our researchers know it's the mercury, would you mind not putting any more thimerosal in your vaccines, please? No hurry, though. Whenever you're ready. No need to dump all those batches of vaccine just because people are finding out it's the mercury that's destroying children's brain cells." The members of the FDA who decide which vaccines get approved make up the advisory board. In his recent House investigation on vaccines, Rep. Dan Burton found out that financial statements of advisory board members are "incomplete."  

Noting that this is the only branch of government that allows incomplete financials, in September 2000, Burton called the advisory board's sweetheart arrangements with the vaccine manufacturers a "violation of the public trust."  

This includes 70 percent of advisory board members owning stock in vaccines, owning patents on vaccines, and accepting salaries and benefits as employees of the drug companies.  

A Matter of Trust  

Still think you can trust the government or your physician with your children's blood? Despite the facts and events cited above, consider this joint statement of the U.S. Public Health Services and the American Academy of Pediatrics:  

"There is a significant safety margin incorporated into all the acceptable mercury exposure limits. There are no data or evidence of any harm caused by the level of exposure that some children may have encountered in following the existing immunization schedule ... Infants and children who have received thimerosal-containing vaccines do not need to be tested for mercury exposure" (MMWR, vol. 45, 1999).  

These are blatant Orwellian distortions. No harm?
  • What about the autism epidemic and all the evidence linking it with mercury cited above?
  • What about the single day doses of mercury cited above that are dozens of times in excess of the EPA's own safety levels?
  • If everything is so safe, then why did they ask the vaccine pushers to kindly discontinue thimerosal from vaccines as soon as possible at the end of this same statement?
It is beyond the scope of this paper to really go into the politics of mercury. In researching mercury toxicity, a whole area of "dry rot" has been unearthed that deserves its own story. This is the shocking story of how the American Dental Association and the California Dental Association have been systematically hiding the truth about mercury toxicity in fillings for decades. Silver fillings aren't just silver. They're 50 percent mercury and extremely toxic; every dentist knows it ( www.altcorp.com ,   www.amalgam.org ).  

In a ludicrous blast of irony, both the ADA and the CDA have inserted into their "code of ethics" strict commandments forbidding dentists from ever revealing to patients the realities of mercury toxicity. No dentist is allowed to recommend removal of mercury amalgams for health reasons, nor may tell the patient about mercury toxicity even if the patient asks. This gag order has been in place for since the beginning of American dentistry. Exaggeration? Check their websites out:   www.amalgam.org/#anchor69176   and   www.amalgam.org/#anchor69541 .  

Do you think dentists put mercury into their own families' teeth? Ask them. Anyone who is not a dentist is not constrained by the gag order, imposed on American dentists by the ADA, against telling patients what many perceptive researchers in the field of mercury toxicity already know: that no children should ever get mercury amalgam fillings.  

Laughingstock of the West  

Researchers across Europe are generally appalled at the massive amounts of vaccines given to American children under two years old. Although Europeans are not as obsessed with vaccines as we are, they do vaccinate.  

But most of Europe gives very few vaccinations to children under two years old, primarily because of the unformed gut, immune system, and blood-brain barrier. This intellectual isolation of ours regarding vaccines is a testimony to the suffocating "brain control" exerted on us by the popular press and all media. Like sheep to the slaughter, we don't know enough to be appalled by our own ignorance.  

Autistic Gut  

Headlining the September 2000 San Diego Conference was Andrew Wakefield, the British surgeon whose shocking new discoveries show that mercury toxicity alone is not the only factor linking vaccines with the autism epidemic. Dr. Wakefield's research centers around the MMR vaccine - measles/mumps/rubella - which does not contain thimerosal. Expanding on his presentation at the April 2000 Burton hearings, Dr. Wakefield explained how at least three-quarters of autistics have pathologically blocked bowels, due to the huge swelling of the tissue lining the intestine.  

In virtually every autistic patient they examined, this nodular hyperplasia is both an immune response and an autoimmune response that Wakefield and O'Leary have clearly linked to the presence of measles virus from the MMR shot. No other virus was found in those cells.  

It is a new bowel pathology.  

Wakefield showed graphs of the U.S. and U.K. 10 years apart that were identical in tracing the skyrocketing incidence of autism just after the MMR vaccine was introduced. He also showed how the incidence of measles had dropped over 85 percent on its own before the MMR was introduced. One incredible study cited by Wakefield showed how 76 percent of children whose mothers were exposed to atypical measles became autistic after the MMR shot! He called this a "background susceptibility" or predisposition to autism.  

Wakefield reminds us that in neither country have there ever been comparative studies on giving multiple vaccines (polyvalent) on the same day. This custom of ours, with both the DPT and the MMR, is not scientific by any stretch, and is primarily for the convenience of those administering the shots, and those being paid per vaccine. As a result, there is a good chance of geometric ill effects.  

Then Wakefield cited the original MMR study (Buynak, Journal of the American Medical Association 1969, vol. 207). Not only was the safety of multiple vaccines never mentioned, there was no follow-up to the study to see if their conclusions were correct. In the usual manner of testing vaccines on the live population, MMR was simply tacked onto the mandatory schedule, and we've never looked back. Despite studies in 1981 on Air Force personnel showing major synergistic adverse effects in the gut from the combination of measles and rubella vaccines, the mandatory schedule went unchanged.  

A Glimmer of Hope

Despite these formidable obstacles, doubts are creeping into the overall public "consciousness" about the safety of vaccines. At one in 150, the fact of autism as an epidemic can no longer be covered up. The work of Wakefield, O'Leary, Megson and Bernard is getting more and more difficult to explain away. Rep. Dan Burton seems relentless in his efforts to acquaint Congress with the meretricious relationship between the FDA Advisory Committee and the vaccine manufacturers.  

The massive advertising campaign about the safety of vaccines in the popular media, which is certain to be stepped up in the next few months, is going to look very hollow in the light of clean, unbiased research that is not funded by parties who stand to make billions from certain predetermined results.  

And the internet makes this well-referenced, scientific work accessible to the public without the usual monodimensional smokescreen from the popular press.  

Ultimately, the value of the San Diego "Conference on Autism" was its signal that autism will not be allowed to slip from the public awareness, like so many other feature stories that come and go. The simple truth has been unveiled, and anyone who looks can see it clearly: our prime question should not be asking how we can cure autism once it occurs. The evidence is now overwhelming that in most cases, this new epidemic that we call autism is a preventable disease.  

Tim O'Shea, DC


By Michael Weitzman 29 Mar, 2017
Studies by Clarkson (1998) and the World Health Organization found that one silver amalgam filling could release anywhere between 3-18 m gm/day of mercury. A Canadian conference suggested a Tolerable Daily Intake (TDI) for mercury of only 1 m gm/day for a person weighing about 150 pounds. Simple math People with more than 2-3 amalgams, therefore are above the occupationally exposed acceptable levels. In fact, in a study done by Dr. Mark Richardson of Ottawa, Canada at the request of Health and Welfare Canada, it was seen that any more than 3 amalgams in the head of an adult were akin to occupational exposure. In other words, gave off as much mercury as if the person worked in an occupation where they were exposed to mercury on a daily basis.


Mercury disrupts your body’s biochemistry and physiology in a number of ways:

  1. Disruption in the balance of calcium…not good news when you consider how often we hear of people being diagnosed with osteoporosis. Another point in this area is that the liver and the kidney are two major organs effected by mercury and compromised in their ability to function under mercury’s influence. Vitamin D, which is produced in the skin, is augmented to the much more active hormone forms first by the liver, then the kidney. If their function has been debilitated, the conversion to the more active Vitamin D forms may not occur as well. These activated forms are essential for proper calcium uptake and utilization, hence another nail in the coffin of calcium balance.

  2. Free radical injury to the cells of the body, resulting in oxidative stress. What this means is that the free radicals, which are produced as a result of mercury’s interaction with the cell, result in cellular damage, particularly to the membranes of the cell.

  3. Many proteins need to have phosphorus derivatives attached to them, and mercury will get in the way of this. This may explain, at least to some degree, the incredible fatigue mercury patients experience. The molecule in your body responsible for energy –ATP- looses a phosphate group when you use it and becomes ADP. Then another phosphate must be added to "refurbish" it to ATP, so your body can reuse it and mercury gets in the way of this.

  4. The kidney is of great concern in mercury toxicity. In people who are occupationally exposed, studies have seen the incredible cell damage and protein leakage from the kidney. In the sensitive mercury patient with even just a few amalgam fillings, the same damage can be seen. The general public may show varying levels of this damage. The World Health Organization in 1991 concluded that urinary mercury of more than 100 m gm/gm creatinine (about 80 m gm/m3) or more increases the risk of neurological (tumour development) and protein in the urine leading to kidney damage.

  5. Research in the past few years, particularly from Europe has shown the devastating consequences mercury has on the effectiveness of the white blood cell of your immune system. It also can be part of the cause in autoimmune diseases such as the more serious arthritides, allergies, and some researchers believe, multiple sclerosis, lupus and Lou Gehrig’s disease.

Mercury definitely has the ability to cross the placental membranes and so cause health disorders in the unborn child. In studies done by Marsh et al in 1981 and 1987, they showed that mothers with hair mercury levels of 70-640 m g/gm of hair during pregnancy have 30% increased risk of psychomotor and other neurological disorders in their infants. Even as low as 10-20 m g/gm can increase risk to 5% (WHO 1990


The statistics listed were compiled by the Foundation For Toxic Free Dentistry (FTTD) on 1569 patients from 6 different reports:


% of Total


Total No.

No. Improved Or Cured

% of Cure or Improvement
























































































































































  1. Mining, smelters, combustion of fossil fuel and refining of gold.

  2. Used in chloralkali industry in the production of chlorine and caustic soda containing products.

  3. Used in electrical industry, in production of thermometers and barometer, fluorescent tubes and alkaline batteries.

  4. Dental fillings (WHO 1991a)- the largest exposure to the world’s population for non-occupationally exposed people.

Dr. Kevin Flood

By Michael Weitzman 29 Mar, 2017

November 14, 2002  

Mr. Chairman and members of the Committee, thank you on behalf of the American Dental Association (ADA) for inviting us to testify today. TheADA   is very pleased to speak to the safety and efficacy of dental amalgam and the Association's position that every dental patient should have an opportunity to make an informed choice about his or her dental treatment options.

If the Association believed that dental amalgam posed a threat to the health of dental patients, we would advise our members to stop using it. But the best and latest available scientific evidence indicates that it is safe. Banning amalgam would deprive patients and dentists of an essential treatment option that is clinically and scientifically substantiated to be safe and effective.

The ultimate decision about what filling materials to use is best determined by the patient in consultation with the dentist. Toward that end,   the ADA has developed a chart that compares restorative dental materials   . The chart provides easily understood comparative information on thirteen distinct factors, including durability, clinical considerations, leakage and recurrent decay, and resistance to wear and fracture. This information sheet has been widely circulated through   ADA   publications.

Rep. Diane Watson (D-Calif.) in April introduced H.R. 4163, the Mercury in Dental Filling Disclosure and Prohibition Act, which would ban the use of dental amalgam by 2007. Congresswoman Watson's attempt to ban dental amalgam because of concern for patient safety flies in the face of accepted scientific information about the safety of dental amalgam.

Download the complete document   |   PDF file/46k

By Michael Weitzman 29 Mar, 2017
Telephone: 312-440-2806

4 May 2004

CHICAGO , December 9, 2004—A review of seven years worth of scientific studies concludes there is insufficient evidence "of a link between dental mercury and health problems, except in rare instances of allergic reactions," according to a report released today by the Life Sciences Research Office, Inc. (LSRO) in Bethesda, MD.

LSRO conducted the independent scientific review of dental amalgam at the request of a work group made up of representatives from the National Institutes of Health, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Food and Drug Administration and the U.S. Public Health Service. The report,   Review and Analysis of the Literature on the Potential Adverse Health Effects of Dental Amalgam   , updates and reaches the same conclusion as two earlier reviews by the U.S. Dept. of Health and Human Services of the dental material, which is an alloy made of silver, copper, tin and zinc, bound by elemental mercury. The silver-colored material is widely used to fill dental cavities.

"This report further substantiates the American Dental Association's position that dental amalgam is a safe, effective material to fill cavities, based on science and clinical experience," said Dr. James B. Bramson,   ADA   executive director. "Countless people's teeth have been saved by using amalgam, which is one of the most durable and affordable cavity filling materials available, especially for large cavities in the back teeth where chewing forces are the greatest."

The LSRO report was based on a review of nearly a thousand papers from peer-reviewed scientific literature along with public comments submitted to the Federal Register and involved a multidisciplinary panel of experts in fields such as toxicology, allergy, pediatrics, epidemiology and pathology.

Established in 1962, LSRO is a non-profit, independent organization with a worldwide network of experts that studies issues in biomedicine, healthcare, nutrition, food safety and the environment.

About the American Dental Association  
The not-for-profit   ADA   is the nation's largest dental association, representing more than 149,000 members. The premier source of oral health information, the   ADA   has advocated for the public's health and promoted the art and science of dentistry since 1859. The   ADA's state-of-the-art research facilities develop and test dental products and materials that have advanced the practice of dentistry and made the patient experience more positive. The ADA Seal of Acceptance long has been a valuable and respected guide to consumer and professional products.

American Dental Association

By Michael Weitzman 29 Mar, 2017
Dental amalgam (silver filling) is considered a safe, affordable and durable material that has been used to restore the teeth of more than 100 million Americans. It contains a mixture of metals such as silver, copper and tin, in addition to mercury, which binds these components into a hard, stable and safe substance. Dental amalgam has been studied and reviewed extensively, and has established a record of safety and effectiveness.
By Michael Weitzman 29 Mar, 2017

23 May 2001The Honorable Dan Burton

Committee on Government Reform
U.S. House of Representatives
Washington, D.C.RE: May 11th letter by Robert M. Anderton, D.D.S., J.D., LL.M. and President of the ADA, challenging my statement to the Committee on Government Reform looking at the topic, Autism-Why the Increased Rates? A One Year Update.



Dear Mr. Chairman:At the April 25th meeting of your committee I gave testimony that the President of the American Dental Association (ADA) takes exception to in a letter sent to you dated 11 May 2001. Quoting from that letter the testimony the ADA dislikes is  "that  elementary mercury from dental amalgam could work synergistically with other ethyl- mercury sources and have a cumulative toxic effect on the body. Dr. Haley postulated that  this could be a potential cause of autism and Alzheimer's disease." I stand by my statement as a sensible concern based on published scientific research regarding synergist toxicities caused by two very toxic agents, mercury and the organic mercury compound thimerosal. This concern is elevated since mercury exposure from amalgams to a pregnant mother concentrates in the fetus and a single vaccine given to a six-pound newborn is the equivalent of giving a 180-pound adult 30 vaccinations on the same day. Include in this the toxic effects of high levels of aluminum and formaldehyde contained in some vaccines, and the synergist toxicity could be increased to unknown levels. Further, it is very well known that infants do not produce significant levels of bile or have adult renal capacity for several months after birth. Bilary transport is the major biochemical route by which mercury is removed from the body, and infants cannot do this very well. They also do not possess the renal (kidney) capacity to remove aluminum. Additionally, mercury is a well-known inhibitor of kidney function.

Common sense indicates that the concern I expressed should be taken seriously since we do not know how combined toxicities effect humans, especially  in utero . Consider the current epidemic death on birth of over 500 foals from apparently healthy mares around Lexington, KY. These deaths were identified as being due to a low level toxicity delivered by caterpillars eating poison plants and later, on migration, depositing their waste products on grass being eaten by the mares. The point being it is the infant  in utero that suffered most on exposure to low level, toxins, not the mother. Combined mercury toxicities can be devastating as I reference below and in the many references available on the  www.altcorp.com  website. What is needed is research by non-biased scientists to clarify this, something our FDA and NIDCR have refused to do. As the American public find out what has happened regarding this issue, they will be quite angry. This is a biomedical science issue that should have been resolved a long time ago by the responsible federal agencies.

 Below I present detailed and referenced information supporting my case and respond to various statements made by the ADA President that I believe to be misleading and sometimes flagrantly wrong.

The ADA seems to think it has the right to select which research it believes and to trash that research that says it is wrong, even though the latter represents the bulk of published research. To address the issues raised by the ADA President in his letter I will go in sequential order of the comments made in the letter placing the ADA comments in italics and providing scientific references for my conclusions. "There is no scientifically valid evidence linking either autism or Alzheimer's  disease with dental amalgam". First, mercury is a well-known, potent neurotoxicant, and common sense would lead to the conclusion that severe neurotoxins would exacerbate all neurological disorders, including Parkinson's, ALS, MS, autism and AD. Several research papers in refereed, high quality journals and scientific publications have shown that mercury inhibits the same enzymes in normal brain tissues as are inhibited in AD brain samples (1a-c, 2, 3). AD is pathologically confirmed post-mortem by the appearance of neuro-fibillary tangles (NFTs) and amyloid plaques in brain tissue.

Published research, within the past year, has shown that exposure of neurons in culture to sub-lethal doses of mercury (much less than is observed in human brain tissue) causes the formation of NFTs (4), the increased secretion of amyloid protein and the hyper-phosphorylation of a protein called Tau (5). All three of these mercury-induced aberrances are regularly identified as the major diagnostic markers for AD. In the manuscript published in the J. of Neurochemistry (5) the authors state "These results indicate that mercury may play a role in the patho-physiological mechanisms of AD." In most of these experiments, mercury and only mercury among the several toxic heavy metals tested, caused the AD related responses reported. Many medically trained individuals would agree that if something causes the appearance of the pathological hallmarks confirming the disease then it likely causes the disease. I at least have limited my claims to exacerbation of these diseases to err on the side of caution.Further, consider this about AD. A study of 500 sets of identical twins from World War II era lead to the conclusion that sporadic AD which represents 90% of the cases was not a directly inherited disease.

In many cases one twin would get AD and the other would not. Genetic susceptibility is involved, but a toxic exposure is required (e.g., if you are genetically susceptible to being an alcoholic you still need to be exposed to alcohol to become one). The work by Rose's group at Johns Hopkins University implicates APO-E genotype as a "risk" factor with APO-E2 being protective and APO-E4 being a major risk factor. APO-E2 has the ability to protect the brain from mercury by having two additional thiol-groups to bind mercury appearing in the cerebrospinal fluid whereas APO-E4 does not have this additional capability (1). This may explain the proven genetic susceptibility to AD of the APO-E4 carriers.NIH has spent hundreds of millions of dollars to find a causal factor for AD. Yet, no virus, yeast or bacteria has been identified so the cause remains unknown to general science. The rate of AD per 1,000 population is nearly the same in California, Michigan, Maine, North Carolina, Florida, Texas, etc. It is not significantly different for rural versus urban individuals, or factory workers versus those with outside jobs. So the primary toxicant that may be involved is most likely not environmental. Therefore, it must be a very personal toxicant, like what you put in your mouth. Since we place grams of a neurotoxic metal, mercury, in our mouths in the form of dental amalgam this makes it a good suspect for the exacerbation of AD---not that all would be affected, just those that are genetically susceptible, or those who become ill enough to fall prey to the toxicity, or those that are also exposed to another synergistic toxin (see below).The one fact that ties mercury into a major suspect for AD is the fact that most of the proteins/enzymes that are inhibited in AD brain are thiol-sensitive enzymes.

Mercury is one of the most potent chemical inhibitors of thiol-sensitive enzymes and mercury vapor easily penetrates into the central nervous system (2). Mercury is not the only toxicant to inhibit thiol-sensitive enzymes. Thimerosal and lead will do this also as well as reactive oxygen compounds created in oxidative stress and many other industrial compounds. However, mercury has been reported to be significantly elevated in AD brain (14a,b, 15). Mercury is in many mouths being emitted from dental amalgam and absolutely would exacerbate the clinical condition identified as AD. Therefore, mercury should be considered as a causal contributor since mercury can produce the two pathological hallmarks of the disease and inhibits the same thiol-sensitive enzymes that are dramatically inhibited in AD brain.It is documented by a 1991 World Health Organization report that dental amalgams constitute the major human exposure to mercury. Grams of mercury are in the mouths of individuals with several amalgam fillings. Further, the level of blood and urine mercury positively correlates with the number of amalgam fillings. This was confirmed by a recently published NIH funded study (6). Therefore, I fail to see the ADA's viewpoint that there is no scientifically valid evidence linking mercury from amalgams to exacerbating AD, especially since mercury produces the diagnostic hallmarks of AD (4,5).

The ADA hides behind the fact that there has not been an epidemiological study to attempt to correlate mercury exposure and AD. However, absence of proof is not proof of absence. This also begs the question why the ADA, the FDA and the National Institutes of Dental Craniofacial Research (NIDCR) have not pushed for such a study? These agencies know this would be immensely expensive and only the U.S. government could afford to support any reliable long-term study. Yet, these same responsible agencies have failed to confirm as safe the placing into the mouth of Americans grams of the most toxic heavy metal Americans are exposed to. The dental branch of the FDA has steadfastly refused to investigate the toxic potential of dental amalgam.Look at the references in the ADA letter! Even they must quote Scandinavian literature to support their contentions of safety, and even then they have to reference papers on fertility instead of neurotoxicity! Where is the ADA, FDA and NIDCR supported U.S. research in this area? Go to the NIH web-sites and look for research on the safety of mercury from amalgams, or try to find an NIH study concerning possible mercury involvement in any common neurological diseases. NIH does support research on methyl-mercury, as we seem to like beating up on the fishing industry whilst leaving the dental industry alone. However, according to the NIH study about 90% of the mercury in our bodies is elemental mercury, not methyl-mercury, showing the exposure is more likely from dental amalgams rather than fish (6). Support at NIH has been very sparse for investigating the relationship of elemental mercury exposure to neurological diseases. "And there is no scientifically valid evidence demonstrating  in vivo  transformation  of inorganic mercury into organo mercury species in individuals occupationally exposed  to amalgam mercury vapor".

There was a paper published entitled "Methylation of Mercury from Dental Amalgam and Mercuric Chloride by Oral Streptococci in vitro" (19). This strongly indicates that "organo mercury species" are indeed capable of being made in the human body and may explain the appearance of methyl-mercury in the blood and urine of individuals who don't eat seafood.Further, periodontal disease is considered one of the major risk factors for stroke, heart and cardiovascular disease and late onset, insulin independent diabetes. Many studies of the toxicants produced in periodontal disease have identified hydrogen sulfide (H2S) and methane-thiol (CH3SH) as major toxic products of infective anerobic bacteria in the mouth metabolizing the amino acids cysteine and methionine, respectively. These volatile thiol-compounds are what cause bad-breath! Methane-thiol (CH3SH) would react immediately and spontaneously in the mouth with amalgam generated mercury cation to produce the following two compounds, CH3S-HgCl and CH3S-Hg-SCH3, which are organo-mercurial compounds (check this out with any competent chemist). They are also very similar in structure to methyl-mercury (CH3-HgCl) and dimethyl-mercury (CH3-Hg-CH3), the latter which caused the highly publicized death of a University of Dartmouth chemistry professor 10 months after she spilled two drops on her gloved hand.

We have synthesized CH3S-HgCl and CH3-Hg-CH3 in my laboratory and tested their toxicity in comparison to Hg2+. As expected, they were both more toxic than Hg2+ and this data is available on the www.altcorp.com  web-site. Therefore, the ADA President is badly misinformed on this issue. Additionally, I am amazed that the researchers at the ADA and NIDCR did not previously report on this obvious chemistry as I would imagine this is the kind of topic they should be addressing. "Based on currently available scientific evidence, the ADA believes that dental  amalgam is a safe, affordable and durable material for all but a handful of individuals  who are allergic to one of its components. It contains a mixture of metals such as silver,  copper and tin, in addition to mercury, which chemically binds these components into a  hard, stable and safe substance."  This is a totally wrong statement unless you underline the  "ADA believes"  and define how big is a  "handful of individuals" . Sensible people want "believes" replaced with "knows" and a "handful" replaced with a "hard number".

Amalgams emit dangerous levels of mercury and the ADA absolutely refuses to accept this fact or even to study the possibility. Otherwise, the ADA administrators seem to be unable to separate fact from fiction. Consider, if they wanted to destroy my argument on amalgam toxicity they would reference several solid, refereed publication showing that mercury is not emitted from dental amalgams---but they cannot do this with even one article. They always state the "estimate" is that a very, very, very small amount. Competent, well-informed researchers don't use the evasive language used in the ADA President's letter. They would state the amount is so many micrograms mercury released per centimeter squared amalgam surface area and a "handful of individuals" would be a percentage of our population! Lets look at the published literature.First, careful evaluation of the amount of mercury emitted from a commonly used dental amalgam in a test tube with 10 ml of water was presented in an article entitled "Long-term Dissolution of Mercury from a Non-Mercury-Releasing Amalgam". This study showed that "the over-all mean release of mercury was 43.5 ± 3.2 micrograms per cm2/day, and the amount remained fairly constant during the duration of the experiments (2 years)" (7). This was without pressure, heat or galvanism as would have occurred if the amalgams were in a human mouth. Further, research where amalgams containing radioactive mercury were placed in sheep and monkeys, showed the radioactivity collecting in all body tissues and especially high in the jaw and facial bones. (8,9). Another publication, from a major U.S. School of Dentistry, stated that solutions in which amalgams had been soaked were "severely cytotoxic initially when Zn release was highest" (13). Zn is a needed element for body health and is found in very low percentages in dental amalgams when compared to mercury and why mercury was not mentioned in the abstract of this publication baffles me. Why would the statement be true? Because Zn2+ is a synergist that enhances mercury toxicity! However, does this sound like amalgams are a safe, stable material? We have repeated similar amalgam soaking experiments in my laboratory and the results can be seen at www.altcorp.com . Cadmium (from smoking), lead, zinc and other heavy metals enhanced mercury toxicity as expected (this research is currently being prepared for publication).

The ADA claim that a zinc oxide layer is formed on the amalgams that decreases mercury release is true, if you don't use the teeth. The zinc oxide layer would be easily removed by slight abrasion such as chewing food or brushing the teeth. Further, my laboratory has confirmed that solutions in which amalgams have been soaked can cause the inhibition of brain proteins that are inhibited by adding mercury chloride, and these are the same enzymes inhibited in AD brain samples.Further, mercury emitting from a dental amalgam can be easily detected using the same mercury vapor analysis instrument used by OSHA and the EPA to monitor mercury levels. Anyone who does not believe mercury is emitted from amalgams should consider doing the following. Have your local dentist make 10 amalgams using the same material he/she places in your mouth. Take these 10 amalgams to your nearest research university's department of chemistry or toxicology department and have them determine how much mercury is being emitted. For example, have them calculate how long it would take a single spill of hardened amalgam to make a gallon of water too toxic to pass EPA standards as drinking water. You will then have an answer from an unbiased, solid group of scientists who are trained to do such determinations. Also, remember the level of mercury they measure would not include the increase that would occur with amalgams in the mouth where chewing, grinding your teeth, drinking hot liquids and galvanism greatly increase the release of mercury. Since this approach can be easily done by anyone don't you think the ADA, FDA and other amalgam supporters would have this published by now if the level of mercury released was below the danger level?Here is their attempt.

According to an ADA spokesman he has "estimated" that only 0.08 micrograms of mercury per amalgam per day is taken into the human body. Applying simple math to this "estimate" of 0.08 micrograms/ day one would divide this amount by 8,640 (24 hours/day X 60 minutes/hour X 6 ten second intervals/minute) to determine the amount of mercury in micrograms available for a ten second mercury vapor analysis. Consider that somewhere between one-half to five-sixths of the mercury released would be into the tooth (that area of the amalgam that exists below the visibly exposed amalgam surface) and not into the oral air. In addition, some mercury in the oral air would be rapidly absorbed into the saliva and oral mucosa (mercury loves hydrophobic cell membranes) and also not be measured by the mercury analyzer. Further, as the mercury analyzer pulls mercury containing oral air into the analysis chamber, mercury free ambient air rushes into the oral cavity decreasing the mercury concentration.

 Taking all of this into account you can calculate that most mercury analyzers could not detect this "estimated" 0.08 micrograms/day level of mercury even if you had several amalgams. However, the fact is that it is quite easy to detect mercury emitting from one amalgam using these analyzers. Therefore, the "estimate" by this ADA spokesman is way to low. Also, if you gently rub the amalgam with a tooth-brush the amount of mercury emitted goes up dramatically. This is a test anyone can do and demonstrate to any group. The ADA spokesmen state that the mercury vapor analyzer is not accurate at determining oral mercury levels and they are quite correct. However, using this instrument would greatly underestimate the amount of mercury exiting the amalgam. The very fact that the mercury analyzer detects high levels of oral mercury strongly indicates the emitted amount of mercury is too high to be acceptable.Mercury release from dental amalgams is also the reason OSHA has used this analyzer to make the dentists place unused amalgam in a sealed container under liquid glycerin. This is done so that the mercury vapors from the amalgams will not contaminate the dental office making it an unsafe place to work. This is also the reason the EPA insists that removed amalgam filling and extracted teeth containing amalgam material be picked up and disposed of as toxic waste. Apparently, the only safe place for amalgams is in the human mouth if you believe what the ADA believes. "Amalgams have been used for 150 years and, during that time, has established  an extensively reviewed record of safety and effectiveness." First, what other aspect of industry or medicine is still using the same basic manufactured material that they used 150 years ago? One has to ask the question as to what has hindered the progress of development of better and safer dental materials? Also, consider that in the early 1900s the average life expectancy of most Americans was about 50 years of age and most of them could not afford dental fillings. Fifty to sixty years is much less than the average age of onset of AD. Further, amalgams became more available to most working class Americans after World War II, or in the early 1950s.

The greatest increase in the use of amalgam occurred at about this time and these 'baby boomers are the great ongoing amalgam experiment'. They are now reaching the age where AD appears and have lived most of their lives carrying amalgam fillings. They also wonder what is causing their chronic fatigue as the physicians can find nothing systemically wrong with them. I would encourage all concerned to contact the health experts on the rate of increase of AD in the U.S.A. at this time. Consider the cost it will place on the taxpayer and how much we would save if we could even remove the exacerbation factors that might speed up the onset of AD. I must point out that the  "extensively reviewed record of safety"  mentioned in the ADA letter was mostly done by dentists and committees dominated by ADA dentists. Also, much of the "safety opinion" was developed long before words like Alzheimer's disease and chronic fatigue were commonplace. Further, these were "reviews" and not carefully documented studies based on scientific experimentation and done by unqualified dentists, not medical scientists. Dentists are not trained to do basic research, nor are they trained in toxicology. Furthermore, the ADA does have a vested interest in keeping amalgam use legitimate.

The ADA was founded on using amalgam technology and participated in patenting and licensing amalgam technology. One has to question why there has not been a general outcry by the bulk of well-meaning dentists and their patients and this question should be addressed. The International Association of Oral Medicine and Toxicology, started by American & Canadian dentists, does adamantly disagree with the ADA on the issue of safety of dental amalgams and this organization has the mantra of "Show me your science" with regards to all dental issues.The ADA, through state dental boards stacked with ADA members, has instigated a "gag order" preventing dentists from even mentioning to their patients that amalgams are 50% mercury. Dentists cannot state that mercury is neurotoxic and emits from amalgams and that the dental patient should consider this as they select the tooth filling material they want used. If a dentist informs a patient of these very truthful facts he will be consider not to be practicing good dentistry and his license will be in jeopardy. Attacking a person's freedom of speech because he is telling the truth and causing serious questions to be asked about the protocols pushed by a bureaucracy (the ADA) makes me seriously question the commitment the ADA has for the health of the American people. The negative stand taken by many state dental boards against even informing the patients about the mercury content of amalgams and the other filling choices they have does not speak well for the organized dental profession.

What medical group would give a treatment to a patient without telling them of the risks involved? "Issued late in 1997, the FDI World Dental Federation and the World Health  Organization consensus statement on dental amalgam stated "No controlled studies have  been published demonstrating systemic adverse effects from amalgam restorations.""  My first comment would be to question "who staffed these committees and what percentage were connected to the ADA though the NIDCR or the FDA dental materials branch or other relationships?" We appear to have the foxes guarding the henhouse! Then I would again point out that "absence of proof is not proof of absence". I would then ask 'have any controlled studies been done and if not, why not?' If the ADA dentists insist on placing amalgams in the mouth, are they not required to show it is safe, not the other way around? Should not the ADA and others concerned push to require the FDA to prove amalgams are safe instead of totally ducking this issue. Go to the FDA dental materials web-site and try to find any evaluation of amalgam safety---you will not succeed. The dental branch of the FDA refuses to do a safety study on amalgams and this is shame on our government. "the small amount of mercury released from amalgam restorations, especially  during placement and removal, has not been shown to cause anyadverse effects." This increase in mercury exposure has also not been shown to be safe by proving it does not cause any adverse effects! Are we to believe this elevated exposure to a toxic metal is good for us? If one were in a building that caused the rise in blood/urine mercury that appears after dental amalgam removal, then OSHA would shut the building down. In fact, no study by the ADA or NIDCR has been completed that specifically and accurately addresses this issue. Yet, the ADA leads us to believe that additional exposure to toxic mercury from these procedures is not dangerous to our health. Mercury toxicity is a retention toxicity that builds up during years of exposure.

The toxicity of a singular level of mercury is greatly increased by current or subsequent, low exposures to lead or other toxic heavy metals (12). Therefore, the damage caused by amalgams could occur years after initial placement and at mercury levels now deemed safe by the ADA.Our ability to protect ourselves from the toxic damage caused by exposure to mercury depends on the level of protective natural biochemical compounds (e.g. glutathione, metallothionine) in our cells and the levels of these protecting agents is dependent upon our health and age. If we become ill, or as we age, the cellular levels of glutathione drop and our protection against the toxic effects of mercury decreases and damage will be done. This is strongly supported by numerous studies where rodents have been chemically treated to decrease their cellular levels of protective glutathione and then treated with mercury, always with dramatic injurious effects when compared to controls. Therefore, published science indicates that mercury toxicity is much more pronounced in infants, the very old and the very ill.A recent NIH study on 1127 military men showed the major contributor to human mercury body burden was dental amalgams. The amount of mercury in the urine increased about 4.5 fold in soldiers with the average number of amalgams versus the controls with no amalgams. In extreme cases it was over 8 fold higher. Since the total mercury included that from diet and industrial pollution are we to expect that this 4.5 to 8 fold average increase in mercury is not detrimental to our health? Does this indicate that amalgams are a  "safe and effective restorative material" ? Is the public and Congress expected to be so naïve as to believe that increased exposure above environmental exposure levels is not damaging? Then why are pregnant mothers told to limit seafood intake when mercury exposure from amalgams is much greater? Then why is the EPA pushing regulations to force the chloro-alkali plants and fossil fuel plants to clean up their mercury contributions to our environment? Obviously, from this study most of the human exposure to mercury is from dental amalgams, not fossil fuel plants. Yet, the FDA lets the dental profession continue to expose American citizens to even greater amounts of mercury. They do this by refusing to test amalgam fillings as a source of mercury exposure. Also, remember that the amalgam using ADA dentists are a major contributor to mercury in our water and air through mercury leaving the dental offices, and even when we are cremated.

"The ADA's Council on Scientific Affairs 1998 report on its review of the recent  scientific literature on amalgam states: "The Council concludes that, based on available  scientific information, amalgam continues to be a safe and effective restorative material."  and  "There currently appears to be no justification for discontinuing the use of dental  amalgam." What would you expect an ADA Council to say? The ADA, as evidenced in the current letter by the President of the ADA, only quotes and considers valid the published research that supports their desire to continue placing mercury containing amalgam fillings in American citizens. When were dentists trained to evaluate neurological and toxicological data and manuscripts? What is needed is an international conference where both the pro- and anti-amalgam researchers show up and present their data in front of a world-class scientific committee. I would challenge the ADA to line up their scientists and supporters to participate in such a conference. This could be held in Washington, D.C. so the FDA officials could easily attend.

Perhaps we could persuade the FDA to sponsor such a conference. However, this is unlikely since a recent written request to have a conference to evaluate the safety of amalgams was rejected in a letter from the FDA and signed by three FDA/ADA dentists who presented the ADA line on this issue. Doesn't it seem a bit fraudulent to have FDA/ADA dentists deciding on whether or not a safety study should be done on mercury emitting amalgams being placed in human mouths with the blessing of the ADA? This does seem like a conflict in interest that Congress should address. "In an article published in the February 1999 issue of the Journal of the American  Dental Association, researchers report finding "no significant association of Alzheimer's  disease with the number, surface area or history of having dental amalgam restorations."  This research was lead by a dentist, Dr. Sax. It was submitted to the J. of the American Medical Association and rejected. It was then submitted to the New England Journal of Medicine and rejected. It was then published in the ADA trade journal, JADA, that is not a refereed, scientific journal. JADA is loaded with commercial advertisements for dental products. They even called a "press conference" announcing the release of this article! Calling a press conference for a twice-rejected publication that is to appear in a trade journal is playing politics with science at its worst!

 At this press conference two of the authors made unbelievable statements that were not supported by any of the data in the article and conflicted with numerous major scientific reports, including the 1998 NIH study (6). Some of these were high-lighted in the side-bars of the ADA publication. I would suggest that those concerned with this article visit Medline and look at the publication records of the two individuals who made these statements. Also, look at the three earlier excellent publications in refereed journals by some of the other authors showing significant mercury levels in the brains of AD subjects compared to controls (14a,b, 15). However, put a dentist in charge of the project and the data gets reversed! Apply some common sense. The ancillary comments by some of the authors and the results of the JADA publication are in total disagreement with the vast majority of research published that looks at elevated mercury levels in subjects with amalgam fillings. For example, the NIH study on military men discussed above showed a very significant elevation of mercury in the blood that correlated with number of dental amalgams (6).

Another recent publication demonstrated elevated mercury in the blood of living AD patients in comparison to age-matched controls (10). These studies clearly show that there should be increased mercury in your blood if you have amalgams and especially if you have AD and amalgams (6,10). Does not the brain have blood in it? This makes it a total mystery as to how could the authors of the JADA article not find elevated brain mercury levels in patient with existing amalgams and/or AD. Even cadavers have brain mercury levels that correlate with the number of amalgam fillings they had on death.Further, if you are addressing the contribution of amalgams to brain mercury and AD wouldn't it be important to divide the AD and control subjects into those with and without existing amalgams on death? In the JADA article this was not done and represents a major research flaw! That this was not done also arouses suspicion. I participated in submitting a letter pointing out this flaw to editors of JADA but they refused to acknowledge the letter and did not publish our comments. It is my opinion that the entire situation around this singular supportive publication of the ADA position on amalgams, brain mercury levels and AD represents a weak attempt at controlling the mind-set of well-meaning dentists, scientists, physicians and medical research administrators. It definitely impedes honest scientific debate.

 It also explains the cavalier attitude of the ADA and NIDCR about elemental mercury exposure and toxicity when compared to the more serious approaches taken by the EPA and OSHA. With regards to the JADA article summary that "no statistically significant  differences in brain mercury levels between subjects with Alzheimer's disease and control  subjects."  Here I must quote Mark Twain on honesty, "There are liars, damned liars and statisticians." Comparing the level of mercury in the AD versus control alone using straight-forward statistics previously showed a significant difference on mercury levels in AD versus control subjects (14a,b, 15). However, there are anomalies, confounders and other factors that can be considered in this situation, especially if you don't like the initial results. This allows one to invoke a Bon-Feroni statistical manipulation. With Bon-Feroni you include the comparison of one pair of data (that may be statistically significantly different taken alone, e.g. mercury levels in the brains of AD versus control subjects) with several other pairs of data rendering the difference statistically insignificant. One known weakness of the Bon-Feroni treatment of several coupled pairs of comparisons is that one very likely will miss a single comparison that is significantly different, and clever people know this. It is my opinion that application of the Bon-Feroni manipulation is what happened in this JADA study that reversed the previous significance of the mercury levels in AD versus control brain previously reported. Research previously reported by some of the very same researchers involved in the JADA study consistently indicated that mercury levels were higher in AD versus age-matched control brains (14a,b, 15). Only when an ADA dentist became involved did the results change to being insignificant. I think the data used in this JADA article and funded by NIH needs to be re-evaluated by a different statistician if we are to ever really know if the mercury levels in the AD brains differed significantly from controls.The letter from the ADA President then lists four publications as proof of amalgams having no statistically significant negative effects. Two of these were published in Scandinavian Journals, another was a review of the literature in a Dental Journal, and one was the JADA article mentioned above. Sweden is well known to have lead the world in the restriction and replacement of dental amalgams with non-mercury containing materials.

Forces are pushing hard to get the use of amalgams accepted again in Sweden to eliminate this embarrassment to our ADA. The current situation in Sweden and some other European countries, Canada and Japan seriously questions the ADA contention of amalgam safety. What if people in Sweden become healthier without amalgams?Additionally, the studies quoted by the ADA President were epidemiological studies. These are very complex as many confounders are included which make finding a statistically significant difference very difficult. So the results are negative, nothing found, and not surprising. However, they are in disagreement with numerous other similar reports and appear to be hand-selected to support the ADA position. One has to wonder, since the ADA President seemed to visit Swedish journals to support the ADA position, how he missed the research of the Nylander group in Sweden that showed increased mercury content in brains and kidneys of humans in relationship to exposure to dental amalgams (17,18). Also, the referenced studies in the ADA letter did not involve neurotoxicity, autism or neurological disease---which is the question at hand. Rather, they addressed fertility, reproduction and other systemic illnesses. Could not the ADA find references to focus on neurotoxiological studies?

What about the 1989 study that showed elevated levels of mercury in 54 individuals with Parkinson's disease when compared to 95 matched controls (16)? Further, one ought to consider who was doing these touted ADA studies and any vested interest they may have in the outcome. I am also aware of studies done in the U.S.A. by major research universities that would disagree with the conclusions drawn by the ADA on this subject yet these articles are not considered in the ADA letter.At the end of the last publication the quote  "Conclusions: No statistically  significant correlation was observed between dental amalgam and the incidence of  diabetes,  myocardial infarction , stroke, or cancer."  How does this relate to an article published in the J. of the American College of Cardiology where the mercury levels in the heart tissue of individuals who died from Idiopathic Dilated Cardiomyopathy (IDCM) contained mercury levels 22,000 times that of individuals who died of other forms of heart disease? Where did this tremendous amount of mercury come from? Even a Bon-Feroni manipulation could not make this difference insignificant! Many who die of IDCM are well-conditioned, young athletes who drop dead during sporting events---and they live in locations and in economic environments where sea-food is not a dietary mainstay. Perhaps the victims of IDCM are within the ADA Presidents  "handful of  individuals who are allergic to one of its components." "The National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research is currently  supporting two very large clinical trials on the health effects of dental amalgam. Studies  underway for several years each in Portugal and the Northeastern United States involve  not only direct neurophysiological measures but also cognitive and functional  assessments."  Do we really think that the NIDCR and associated ADA personnel are going to deliver up a conclusion to American parents saying "we put a mercury containing toxic material in your child's mouth that lowered his/her I.Q. and made him more susceptible to neurological problems in comparison to the children whom we selected to not get exposed to this toxic material"? It is my opinion that most bureaucracies don't have a brain or a heart, but they do have a very strong survival instinct. Therefore, the results presented from this study will likely follow previously ADA supported research, i.e. no significant results.Since the NIDCR started this project only 4 years ago one has to ask why it took so long for them to get involved since the "amalgam wars" have been going on for scores of years? Was it the overwhelming amount of modern science showing mercury from amalgams being a major part of the daily exposure that forced their hand and they had to develop a defense? Would I trust the conclusions of this study without knowing who put it together and who did the statistics? Not any more than I trust the conclusions of the JADA article mentioned in the ADA letter that stupendously concludes that mercury from dental amalgams does not get into the brain.As was proven by the tobacco situation, trying to find any significant negative effect of one product (amalgams) related to any disease through epidemiological studies is very difficult and complex. To do this with mercury would be difficult because of the synergistic effect two or more toxic metals or compounds (e.g. cadmium from smoking) may have on the toxicity of the mercury emitted from amalgams. For example, one publication showed that combining mercury and lead both at LD1 levels caused the killing rate to go to 100% or to an LD100 level (12). An LD1 level is where, due to the low concentrations, the mercury or the lead alone was not very toxic alone (i.e., killed less than 1% of rats exposed when metal were used alone). The 100% killing, when addition of 1% plus 1% we would expect 2%, represents synergistic toxicity. Therefore, mixing to non-lethal levels of mercury plus lead gave an extremely toxic mixture! What this proves is that one cannot define a "safe level of mercury" unless you absolutely know what others toxicants the individual is being exposed to. The combined toxicity of various materials, such as mercury, thimerosal, lead, aluminum, formaldehyde, etc., is unknown.

The effects various combinations of these toxicants would have is also not defined except that we know they would be much worse than any one of the toxicants alone. So how could the ADA take any exception, based on intellectual considerations, to my contention that combinations of thimerosal and mercury could exacerbate the neurological conditions identified with autism and AD? Autism and AD have clinical and biological markers that correspond to those observed in patients with toxic mercury exposure. Why would the ADA take this position? I personally feel like I have been in a ten year argument with the town drunk on this issue. Facts don't count and data is only valid if it meets the pro-amalgam agenda.The ADA was founded on the basis that mercury-containing amalgams are safe and useful for dental fillings. This may have been an acceptable position in 1850. However, modern science has proven that amalgams constantly emit unacceptable levels of mercury. Especially as the average life span has increased from 50 to 75-78 years of age where AD and Parkinson's become prevalent diseases. The ADA can try to verify its position using selected epidemiological studies. But the bottom line is that amalgams emit significant levels of neurotoxic mercury that are injurious to human health and would exacerbate the medical condition of those individuals with neurological diseases such as ALS, MS, Parkinson's, autism and AD.I am hoping that the ADA sent this letter to your committee and also placed it on the ADA web-site to indicate that they are now willing for a wide-open discussion to take place on the issue of dental amalgams. I, for one, would welcome a major scientific conference on this issue.

The ADA should feel free to post my letter in response and address any issue they feel that I am mistaken about. However, in closing I urge your committee to push forward on the study of the potential dangers of mercury in our dentistry and medicines. This includes mercury exposures from amalgams, vaccines and other medicaments containing thimerosal. The synergistic effects of mercury with many of the toxicants commonly found in our environment make the danger unpredictable and possibly quite severe, especially any mixture containing elemental mercury, organic mercury and other heavy metal toxicants such as aluminum.

Sincerely, Boyd E. Haley
Professor and Chair
Department of Chemistry
University of Kentucky

REFERENCES:1. a. Duhr, E.F., Pendergrass, J. C., Slevin, J.T., and Haley, B. HgEDTA Complex Inhibits GTP Interactions With The E-Site of Brain b-Tubulin Toxicology and Applied Pharmacology 122, 273-288 (1993).; b. Pendergrass, J.C. and Haley, B.E. Mercury-EDTA Complex Specifically Blocks Brain b-Tubulin-GTP Interactions: Similarity to Observations in Alzheimer"s Disease. p 98-105 in Status Quo and Perspective of Amalgam and Other Dental Materials (International Symposium Proceedings ed. by L. T. Friberg and G. N. Schrauzer) Georg Thieme Verlag, Stuttgart-New York (1995).; c. Pendergrass, J.C. and Haley, B.E. Inhibition of Brain Tubulin-Guanosine 5'-Triphosphate Interactions by Mercury: Similarity to Observations in Alzheimer's Diseased Brain. In Metal Ions in Biological Systems V34, pp 461-478. Mercury and Its Effects on Environment and Biology, Chapter 16. Edited by H. Sigel and A. Sigel. Marcel Dekker, Inc. 270 Madison Ave., N.Y., N.Y. 10016 (1996).
2. Pendergrass, J. C., Haley, B.E., Vimy, M. J., Winfield, S.A. and Lorscheider, F.L. Mercury Vapor Inhalation Inhibits Binding of GTP to Tubulin in Rat Brain: Similarity to a Molecular Lesion in Alzheimer's Disease Brain. Neurotoxicology 18(2), 315-324 (1997).
3. David, S., Shoemaker, M., and Haley, B. Abnormal Properties of Creatine kinase in Alzheimer's Diseased Brain: Correlation of Reduced Enzyme Activity and Active Site Photolabeling with Aberrant Cytosol-Membrane Partitioning. Molecular Brain Research 54, 276-287 (1998).
4. Leong, CCW, Syed, N.I., and Lorscheider, F.L. Retrograde Degeneration of Neurite Membrane Structural Integrity and Formation of Neurofibillary Tangles at Nerve Growth Cones Following In Vitro Exposure to Mercury. NeuroReports 12 (4): 733-737, 2001.
5. Olivieri, G., Brack, Ch., Muller-Spahn, F., Stahelin, H.B., Herrmann, M., Renard, P; Brockhaus, M. and Hock, C. Mercury Induces Cell Cytotoxicity and Oxidative Stress and Increases b-amyloid Secretion and Tau Phosphorylation in SHSY5Y Neuroblastoma Cells. J. Neurochemistry 74, 231-231, 2000.
6. Kingman, A., Albertini, T. and Brown, L.J. Mercury Concentrations in Urine and Whole-Blood Associated with Amalgam Exposure in a U.S. Military Population. J. Dental Research 77(3) 461-71, 1998.
7. Chew, C. L., Soh, G., Lee, A. S. and Yeoh, T. S. Long-term Dissolution of Mercury from a Non-Mercury-Releasing Amalgam. Clinical Preventive Dentistry 13(3): 5-7, May-June (1991).
8. Hahn, L.J., Kloiber, R., Vimy, M. J., Takahashi, Y. and Lorscheider, F.L. Dental "Silver" Tooth Fillings: A Source of Mercury Exposure Revealed by Whole-Body Image Scan and Tissue Analysis. FASEB J. 3, 2641-2646, 1989.
9. Hahn, L.J., Kloiber, R., Leininger, R.W., Vimy, M. J., and Lorscheider, F.L. Whole-body Imaging of the Distribution of Mercury Released from Dental Filling Into Monkey Tissues. FASEB F. 4, 3256-3260, 1990.
10. Hock, C., Drasch, G., Golombowski, S., Muller-Span, F., Willerhausen-Zonnchen, B., Schwarz, P., Hock, U., Growdon, J.H., and Nitsch, R.M. Increased Blood Mercury Levels in Patients with Alzheimer's Disease. J. of Neural Transmission v105(1) 59-68, 1998.
11. Frustaci, A., Magnavita, N., Chimenti, C., Caldarulo, M., Sabbioni, E., Pietra, R., Cellini. C., Possati, G. F. and Maseri, A. Marked Elevation of Myocardial Trace Elements in Idiopathic Dilated Cardiomyopathy Compared With Secondary Dysfunction. J. of the American College Cardiology v33(6) 1578-1583, 1999,
12. Schubert, J., Riley, E.J., and Tyler, S.A. Combined Effects in Toxicology-A Rapid Systemic Testing Procedure: Cadmium, Mercury and Lead. J. of Toxicology and Environmental Health v4, 763-776,1978.
13. Wataha, J. C., Nakajima, H., Hanks, C. T., and Okabe, T. Correlation of Cytotoxicity with Element Release from Mercury and Gallium-based Dental Alloys  in vitro . Dental Materials 10(5) 298-303, Sept. (1994)
14. a. Ehmann, W., Markesbery, W., and Alauddin, T., Hossain, E. and Brubaker, E., Brain Trace Elements in Alzheimer's Disease. Neurotoxicology 7(1) p197-206, 1986. b. Thompson, C. M., Markesbery, W.R., Ehmann, W.D., Mao, Y-X, and Vance, D.E. Regional Brain Trace-Element Studies in Alzheimer's Disease. Neurotoxicology 9, 1-8 (1988). 
15. Wenstrup, D., Ehmann, W., and Markesbery, W. Brain Research, 533, 125-131, 1990.
16. Ngim, C.H., Devathasan, G. Epidemiologic Study on the Assocaiation Between Body Burden Mercury Level and Idiopathic Parkinson's Disease. Neuroepidemiology, 8, 128-141, 1989.
17. Nylander, M., Friberg, L. and Lind, B. Mercury Concentrations in the Human Brain and Kidneys in Relation to Exposure from Dental Amalgam Fillings. Swedish Dentistry J. 11:179-187, 1987.
18. Nylander, M., Friberg, L., Eggleston, D., Bjorkman, L. Mercury Accumulation in Tissues from Dental Staff and Controls in Relation to Exposure. Swedish Dental J. 13, 235-243, 1989
19. Heintze, U. Edwardsson, S., Derand, T. and Birkhed, D. Methylation of Mercury from Dental Amalgam and Mercuric Chloride by Oral Streptococci in vitro. Scand. J. Dental Research 91(2) 150-152, 1983.

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