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Is Silver Filling Safe?

The warning is directed at two groups, which are already urged to limit mercury seafood over concerns that too much mercury can damage the developing brain. The FDA said that publish dental amalgam, “containing mercury, which can have neurotoxic effects on the developing nervous system of children and fetuses.” The FDA is also determine whether the mercury vapor released when chewing and brushing can also cause neurological disorders or other problems in children.

This spring, the FDA alerted dentists who is considering additional controls, which include requiring warnings to alert consumers of mercury in amalgam before having cavities or restriction filling containing mercury in amalgam fillings young children and some other patients. The FDA is accepting public comment until July 28 with a final ruling expected a year later, on July 28, 2009, all imposed as part of the legal settlement. “It’s an open question what we are going to do,” FDA Deputy Commissioner Randall Lutter told the Associated Press, but “what this says is there is a clear intention on our part in the labelling of sensitive subpopulations.” “This is a watershed moment,” said Michael Bender of the Mercury Policy Project, which, with other advocacy groups-sued the FDA in hopes of forcing restrictions on amalgam.

Amalgamas cost around $ 100 versus about $ 150 or more for teeth colored compounds. Amalgam fillings are about 50 percent mercury and is alloyed with silver, copper and tin and are made by mixing liquid mercury powder ingredients. All this requires security measures and filters to limit waste seeping back into the environment. Used since 1800, amalgams popularity is declining, partly due to concerns about mercury, which represents about 30 percent of U.S. fillings. Several other countries restrict amalgam, either as a precautionary measure in pregnant women and small children or because of environmental concern.

As part of the solution with several advocacy groups of consumers, the FDA agreed to alert consumers about potential risks on its website and issuing a specific rule over the next year for fillings that contain mercury, FDA spokesman said Peper Long. This rule could affect those responsible for the metal fillings, which include DENTSPLY International Inc. and Danaher Corp. unit Kerr. The new rule allows the FDA to use “special checks (which) can provide reasonable assurance of safety and efficacy of the product,” added Long.

Although various FDA said earlier studies showed any damage mercury fillings, some consumer groups argue fillings can trigger a series of health problems such as multiple sclerosis and Alzheimer’s disease. In 2006, an FDA panel of outside experts for advice said most people would not be harmed by them, but said that the FDA requires more information.

Mercury has long been linked to and kidney damage brain certain levels.

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