The Associated Press reported yesterday on the latest congressional hearing on mercury issues:
The dental industry, asked to testify Tuesday about pollution from mercury in tooth fillings, found itself under attack from lawmakers who blame mercury for everything from autism in children to skin discoloration.
The hearing was about whether dentists should be required to install “separator” equipment to keep pieces of fillings from getting into public wastewater. Currently, dentists in nine states are required to use separators.
At this point, our gut reaction was, “They shouldn’t be using mercury at all! They say, ‘Don’t poison the water,’ but not, ‘Don’t poison the brain,’ even though amalgams release vapor with every bite, within inches of the brain!”
The American Dental Association, before its spokesman testified, faced deeply personal diatribes from Reps. Dan Burton, R-Ind., and Diane E. Watson, D-Calif.
Burton began by saying he’d had a cap replaced, and a silver filling removed, over the weekend, and that he worried as he swished the water in his dentist’s office about where his filling would go.
Then Burton talked about his grandson, saying the child became autistic not long after receiving nine vaccination shots, seven of them containing mercury. While such theories have been rejected in mainstream medicine, Burton has held several hearings on it in the past. Mercury has not been in childhood vaccines since 2001.
“Mercury should not be ingested into the human body in any way,” he said.
At which point we said, “Exactly. So how come dentists can still place it in people’s mouths?”