I’m continuing my Wednesday series of blogs about the wonderful people I met at various conferences in Los Angeles in March, 2010.
Charles Brown, who does go by the name Charlie, formerly Attorney General of West Virginia, is the legal counsel for the Coalition to Abolish Mercury Dental Fillings. This is a group of concerned and aware dentists, physicians and environmentalists who oppose the use of mercury-based dental fillings. These fillings have been called “silver fillings” but are actually 50% mercury.
Like the Peanuts character (who his parents hopefully didn’t name him after) Charlie deals with some pretty nutty people. His lawsuit against the FDA forced them to reclassify amalgam (July 2009). Unfortunately, the FDA merely parroted what they have been saying for decades that “There little evidence of any health risk.” Let me emphasize the “double-speak” in that statement. They are not saying there is No health risk. They are saying there is little evidence of risk. We know the evidence is there but they are not going to acknowledge it.
The most brilliant piece of Charlie’s work caused the demise of the notorious “gag rule” which directed silence by dentists instead of information about mercury fillings. That was the topic of a paper I wrote called “Lies Your Dentist is Forced to Tell You,” which I quote below.
“So-called “silver” dental fillings are an amalgamation of 50% pure elemental mercury, 35% silver, 13% tin, 2% copper, and a trace of zinc – thus the name amalgam fillings. While mercury fillings are classified as a hazardous material in the work place by the federal government’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration, and dentists can get shutdown if they get caught throwing old mercury fillings down the sink by the Environmental Protection Agency and other government agencies, somehow, magically, these same fillings are perfectly safe in our teeth”. (Excerpted from my paper – “Lies Your Dentist is Forced to Tell You.”)
Charlie has a sunny disposition and is very optimistic about a future without mercury fillings. He’s one of those that shares my saying “Not in my universe”. And he’s convinced the tide is turning.
It’s no longer the case that most dentists use mercury fillings.In a 2007 dental marketing survey conducted by TheWealthyDentist.com, 52% of dentists reported they are no longer using mercury amalgam. Yes, the other 48% are still placing amalgam fillings but not in our universe! For more information on the amalgams you can go to The International Academy of Oral Medicine and Toxicology and Toxic Teeth.
Carolyn Dean MD ND
The Doctor of the Future®
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