A new lawsuit claims that despite growing evidence of harm caused by dental amalgam, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) continues to delay the protection of public health against mercury tooth fillings.
The case has a number of plaintiffs, including the International Academy of Oral Medicine & Toxicology, which claim that the FDA has failed to respond within a reasonable time to petitions calling for either a formal ban of dental amalgam use, or placement in FDA's Class III, which requires: 1) additional restrictions for vulnerable individuals; 2) more stringent proof of safety; and 3) an Environmental Impact Statement.
According to attorney James M. Love, who filed the lawsuit on March 5, 2014, American consumers and dental professionals are being misled by the American Dental Association (ADA) -- the largest and most powerful advocate for continued amalgam use.
“The ADA has misrepresented FDA's lack of regulation as proof of safety, and continues to use this toxic dental filling, despite scientifically demonstrated risks,” said Love. "Most individuals remain unaware that those 'silver' fillings, prevalently used as a dental restoration and covered by insurance policies, consist of 45-55 per cent metallic mercury, and that there are health and environmental risks associated with those fillings."
Top scientists have repeatedly warned the FDA of the risk of harm caused by dental fillings, the lawsuit notes. For example, a February 2014 study, "[n]ew science challenges old notion that mercury dental amalgam is safe," published in the peer-reviewed journal, Biometals, uses the same studies cited by FDA in 2006, demonstrating that children are particularly at risk for mercury poisoning.
The lawsuit suggests that the largest user of dental amalgam is the U.S. government, which uses amalgam for welfare recipients, prisoners, those residing on Indian Reservations, and the military, serving largely low-income people, including women and children, who are given no other options.