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12 What Are Other Countries Doing About The Amalgam Issue?




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This article is from the Amalgam and Mercury-free Dentistry FAQ.

12 What Are Other Countries Doing About The Amalgam Issue?

It is apparent that many of the countries in the world are much more
aware of the dangers of mercury than is the United States.

GERMANY: At the present time Germany is more progressive than any
other country on the dental mercury issue. They have banned one type
of amalgam from further use in Germany; they have issued warnings that
amalgam should not be placed in children and women of child bearing
age. The biggest amalgam manufacturer in Germany, a company by the
name of Degussa arbitrarily stopped the manufacture of amalgam and
recently settled, out of court, a law suit against it, by agreeing to
provide 1,200,000 DM to the University of Munich for research into the
pathological effects of amalgam. Additionally, approximately 1500
citizens have filed ''civil complaints'' against amalgam manufacturers
for injury. It is our understanding that the Frankfurt Prosecutor
believes there is sufficient substance to the claims that he is
proceeding with a case against amalgam manufacturers.

SWEDEN: Sweden was at the forefront of scientific research on dental
mercury for many years. Its civilian population has been very active,
including the Swedish Patient Organization (has over 25,000 members
who have been damaged by dental mercury or who support the efforts to
stop its use as a dental material). As a consequence of civilian
pressures on the government, a plan was formulated to phase out the
use of amalgam totally by the end of January 1997. At the present time
there is a ban on the use of amalgam in anyone under the age of
19. Some counties in Sweden have already stopped completely the use of
amalgam in dentistry. Many of Swedens concerns were related also to
the environmental impact of mercury effluent and scrap amalgam
disposal from dental offices. The entire process has been vigoursly
fought against by the Swedish Dental Association, who like the
American Dental Association maintains that amalgam is safe.

CANADA: Canada is about to announce a new policy on the use of
mercury/amalgam within that country. The agency within the Canadian
government responsible for such policy is Health Canada (similar to
our FDA), and in 1994 they directed one of their staff members,
Dr. Mark Richardson, Ph.D., to do a ''Risk Assement Analysis'' of
dental amalgam. Dr. Richardson's report clearly indicated a health
risk for continued use of amalgam as a dental material and basically
recommended that the numbers of amalgam dental fillings be limited to
no more than four (4) in adults and only one (1) in children up to the
age of 6. The Canadian Dental Association was extremely agressive in
attempting to attack the credibility of Dr. Richardson himself, and
the conclusions of the report. They enlisted the aid of the ADA as
well as representatives from several countries. Many anti-amalgam
civilian activist groups as well as the International Academy of Oral
Medicine and Toxicology, were also involved in the review process. As
a result of the Canadian Dental Association's (CDA's) unethical
tactics, all of these groups sent letters of protest and resignation
from the review process. The reporting of these actions in the
Canadian media caused great embarrassment for Health Canada. The
Director of Health Canada, sent a letter to the President of the CDA
admonishing him and the organization for their tactics and
conduct. The Director is now getting ready to announce Health Canadas
decision and we are all hopeful that he will not buckle to the intense
lobbying and political pressures being brought to bear by organized
dentistry, but will instead opt to protect the Canadian citizens. The
fact that since 1985, most of the major research on the potential
dangers of amalgam as a dental material have been performed at the
University of Calgary Medical School, one of the premier medical
institutions in the world, makes Health Canadas decision extremely
critical.

AUSTRIA: At the present time it is the intention of Austria to
completely stop the use of amalgam in dentistry by the year 2000.


 

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