Amalgam fillings are safe…

AMALGAM, a compound of mercury with another metal, has been used for fillings for 200 years. A ScienceDaily news article says, ‘Amalgam fillings are safe, but sceptics still claim controversy’.

Speaking at the 87th General Session of the International Association for Dental Research in Miami, Dr Rod Mackert, of the Medical College of Georgia, points out that someone would need 265 – 310 amalgam fillings before even slight symptoms of mercury toxicity could be felt. The reason being that when mercury is mixed with the other metals used in fillings (silver, tin and copper), the compound produced contains no free mercury. A poison is only a poison when it is at the right dose; a fact that has been appreciated for hundreds of years. You may absorb only 1 micrograms (1/1millionth of a gram) of mercury a day from a mouthful of fillings, yet consume around 6 micrograms from food, water and air, according to the US Environmental Protection Agency.

It is again a case where fringe activists, such as the anti-amalgam groups, can ignore the large body of literature that suggests there is no evidence for amalgam fillings causing harm to health, but will invariably leap upon the first paper that supports their position. As ever, the banality of it being easier to convince people of what they already believe to be true, is true; once they’ve set their mind to it, there will be no changing it. They might think they’re being open minded, and that scientists are being closed minded, but if they’re not open to the different forms of evidence, and no amount will alter their belief, then who is the closed-minded group?

They ought to watch this fine video produced by QualiaSoup, an artist and science communicator:

As a scientist, I will continue assess whether the general scientific consensus on amalgam safety changes, at which time I will take a very detailed look at the evidence myself. However, as I don’t have any fillings at all, it is not an issue with which I have any pressing personal concerns.

Medical College of Georgia (2009, April 10). Amalgam Fillings Are Safe, But Skeptics Still Claim Controversy, Researcher Says. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 10, 2009.

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