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Dental Amalgam Mercury Syndrome (DAMS)-ie:mercury poisoning!

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Old 04-13-2007, 11:01 AM   #1
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Arrow Dental Amalgam Mercury Syndrome (DAMS)-ie:mercury poisoning!

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Last updated February 27, 2004

Biting Back
Local activists say your mercury amalgam fillings could be poisoning
you..and they're fighting the ADA to prove it..
Juliet Fletcher, Philadelphia CityPaper.Net May 23-29, 2002
Dr. Andrea Brockman finally conceded there was a problem with
the mercury bottles nestled in her cabinet when she realized nobody
wanted to know they were there.
The silver-colored metal, in its liquid globular form, is as familiar
a sight to scientists as the tiny orange skull and crossbones on each
bottle that mark it as a hazardous toxin. So Brockman, a dentist, was
all too eager to pass the bottles over to whichever environmental agency
would take them off her hands.
She called the city. She called refineries, manufacturers and
environmental agencies. Her inquiries were greeted with a surprising reply:
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the city's Department of
Public Health told her that they wouldn't retrieve such hazardous
material from her workplace without a fee. Finally, in exasperation, she
allowed her assistant to call the Public Health Department to ask what she
should do if she found mercury in her apartment. Protocol kicked in:
"OK, don't do anything. Don't touch it. We'll come and get it."

No health organization will dispute that mercury is a toxin: It
arguably ranks as the second-most-poisonous compound on earth, after
plutonium. What Brockman and her husband, Dr. Vincent DiLorenzo, discovered,
in the years spent running a practice near Chestnut Hill, was that
mercury inside a dental office is treated squarely as an industrial
material; yet dentistry, they argue, is one of the few industries that has not
sought to eliminate mercury from its day-to-day procedures. While
Mercurochrome is no longer used in hospitals to disinfect cuts, nor are
thermometers filled with the metal, the same mercury is habitually mixed
with other metals and placed inside the mouths of patients, in one of the
most common dental treatments: a "silver" filling.
There is no greater debate in modern dentistry than over continued
use of this sort of filling, each of which contains roughly half a gram
of mercury.
On one hand, the American Dental Association (ADA), the
premier governing body of dentistry, approves mercury amalgam fillings,
finding no admissible science linking the roughly 50 million grams of
mercury placed in mouths every year to possible exposure.

ADA spokesperson Dr. Terry Donovan says,"Based on 150 years of effective use and a lot of scientific study, we believe amalgam is perfectly safe." On the other, small groups of consumers and concerned dentists have taken root, claiming that exposure through dental work has caused health problems
ranging from skin irritation and memory loss to fertility and children's
developmental disorders. Other research correlates symptoms of mercury
poisoning with systemic illnesses, such as autoimmune disease and

Once trained as a nurse, Brockman recalls how hospital wards would be
quarantined at the drop of a thermometer, for fear that mercury vapor,
given off continuously by the metal, would poison those nearby. On
starting dental school at Temple, however, she saw "how we were taking the
same mercury that we weren't allowed to touch in the hospital and
squeezing it in cheesecloths with our hands" as they prepared the amalgams.
By the time she had completed dental school in 1979, an alarming range
of health problems had convinced her that daily contact with the
compound would pose a continual danger to her health.

She had developed panic attacks, visiting the emergency room on several occasions, and later suffered a miscarriage. As the couple decided to begin practicing mercury-free in the late '70s, they both were aware that the ADA gave its seal of approval to the products that the EPA classified as hazardous; they could not yet know that, by 1986, proposing the removal of a patient's amalgam fillings purely out of concern about toxicity would
contravene ADA regulations.

Now, 20 years on, DiLorenzo and Brockman stand by their decision to
abolish use of the metal at their own level. Their efforts are now
joined with those of other area residents -- both dentists and patients --
to do the impossible: to give consumers the chance to buck 150 years of
traditional dentistry.
Their movement has not gone unnoticed. A bill currently sits before
Congress demanding the abolition of mercury use in dentistry.
Mercury was first introduced as a filling component in the 1800s from
France, and American dentists adopted it soon after. The new technique
was greeted enthusiastically. Mixed with powdered metals, its liquid
consistency at room temperature solidified to a malleable paste that
could be set in a tooth cavity. Until the advent of this method, the only
means of filling a tooth had been with molten metal.
Essentially, the technique for so-called "silver" fillings has
remained the same to this day, and mercury continues to be the predominant
ingredient. The Department of Health and Human Services stated, in its
1999 Toxicological Profile for Mercury, that an amalgam filling contains
approximately 50 percent mercury, 35 percent silver and lesser amounts
of tin, copper and zinc. To mix these together, DiLorenzo remembers
adding "droppersful" of mercury to powdered alloy, before allowing a
machine to shake them together. Once done, the mixture would be wrung out --
and, he explains ruefully, it was years after their training that
gloves were commonly worn for such preparations. In 1998, the ADA ruled that
dentists discontinue using bulk mercury to reduce the risk of exposure
from handling, choosing capsulated mercury instead, though it maintains
that the amalgam is largely inert once mixed. Other filling materials,
including porcelain, composite and gold, are now available.
Yet the ADA has long had to answer questions from concerned dentists
such as Brockman, who eventually called the ADA to ask whether daily
exposure to mercury might contribute to her health problems. "I was told
there was nothing to worry about, that they'd get back to me with more
information. But their stance didn't make sense to me." The response
from her professors at Temple, who assured her that mercury was "locked
into" amalgam, didn't make much sense to her either. Though a heavy
metal, mercury is extremely volatile, releasing toxic vapor continuously
while in its liquid state. This volatility is tempered when it bonds with
other metals, but a recently developed method measuring intra-oral
levels of mercury vapor has proven that emissions are given off after the
amalgam is mixed and set.
An astonishingly simple chain of logic eventually led Brockman to the
heart of the issue. Though she and DiLorenzo had turned away from
placing mercury fillings in their patients, they were not yet free from the
metal. During the late '70s and early '80s, they were still drilling
out old fillings from patients' mouths. Knowing mercury behaved like
other compounds, they surmised that the heat and pressure of a dental drill
would accelerate the chemical reaction, increasing the chances that
vapor would be released during these dental procedures. And yet, knowing
what they did of the wear and tear that teeth withstand, particularly
through chewing and contact with hot foods, they began to articulate a
barely whispered question: What if mercury exposure did not stop with the
dentist, but was continuously absorbed by the patient, once they were
carrying mercury inside their mouths?
In 1991, nearly a decade later, the World Health Organization (WHO)
estimated that the body absorbed roughly 3 micrograms to 17 micrograms
of mercury per day from amalgams. Health and Human Services, summarizing
data from recent studies in 1999, cited the report and estimated that a
person's exposure to mercury from amalgams may account for 53 percent
to 87 percent of their daily mercury exposure. By comparison, the second
greatest source quoted was dietary content, specifically from fish and
seafood, contributing only 2.31 micrograms per day. Airborne vapor
concentrations, as assessed by the EPA in 1984, should not exceed 0.3 parts
per million.
None of this history was known to Freya Koss when she slipped into
the dentist's chair in March 1998. Arriving all the way from Wynnewood
for her appointment with her Bronx-based dentist, she learned that the
pain in her mouth was originating in one of her upper-left molars, which
was in serious need of repair: Beneath an old amalgam filling, a cavity
had continued to grow. She says that with peremptory speed the dentist
drilled out the weathered portion, removed the decay and sealed up the
tooth with new amalgam. At one point, Koss says, she asked him why he
hadn't used a dental dam, which catches the metal shrapnel before it
disappears into the patient's mouth. "He told me that, frankly, they were
a pain to use. He hadn't fitted one in all the time he'd been
practicing." Koss would not name the dentist.
To Koss, who, as an events planner, was used to noting details above
all else, this seemed unusual. Other signs of sloppy procedure were
there: Koss says she found out later that the dentist had mixed alloy with
bulk mercury from a bottle, rather than using the neater -- and
ADA-approved -- method of pre-measured capsules. Most of all, she laments, she
"had no idea what questions to ask" her dentist -- and so had no idea
what was going wrong.
Seven days later, she was returning to her car after an evening at
the ballet when she was stung by an attack of dizziness. As the fog
cleared, she found she could no longer see the oncoming cars clearly: They
appeared in double vision, the headlights multiplied so many times that
she could hardly see the road.
Apprehensive, she went to her optometrist for tests; on examining
Koss' eyes, the specialist appeared concerned and told her that she
shouldn't leave without first making an appointment with a
neuro-ophthalmologist. The next day, she underwent tests at the Hospital of the
University of Pennsylvania; within a week, she had the results back. Out of the
blue, the doctor diagnosed her with either multiple sclerosis or lupus.
Absolute disbelief was her first reaction, which quickly hardened
into determination: "I could not comprehend how I'd developed an
autoimmune condition, such as MS, seemingly overnight," Koss recalls. So she
initially refused the prescription of medication and steroids meted out by
the doctors, and she set about doing her own research. Her touchstone,
she says, was the Internet: She sat up for three days in a row,
searching medical databases and newsgroups for some link between her stunning
diagnosis and its manifestation -- now-drooping eyelids and worsening
vision. She could barely see, but she donned an eye patch to minimize
the blur and began to read, as she puts it, "with an open mind."
It didn't take her too long to find a kindred spirit by spreading her
net of research internationally. A woman in the U.K. was the first to
match Koss' symptoms and MS diagnosis against her own experience with
heavy metal toxicity. Anecdote after anecdote provided Koss with a window
on other sufferers whose symptoms had been exacerbated after visiting a
What she hadn't realized was how far the U.S. dental establishment
differed from health organizations and agencies abroad in its support of
mercury-based fillings: Sweden, Germany and Canada, for example, no
longer allow application of amalgam, while other nations, such as Norway
and Australia, have adopted warnings against its use in children and
pregnant women. By contrast, roughly 96 million amalgam fillings were
placed in the U.S. in 1990, according to a 1993 Health and Human Services
study, and it is currently the treatment afforded by most basic
insurance policies. Furthermore, it seemed to Koss no coincidence that research
from other countries, notably from Canada and Sweden, was making bolder
statements on the transmission of mercury from amalgams throughout the
body. A 1989 University of Calgary study planted amalgam fillings in
sheep's mouths to study the effects of chewing on vapor release. The
mercury, tagged radioactively, could be followed through the
animals' systems over a 29-day period -- rapidly accumulating in the
liver and kidneys, as well as lung and jawbone tissue. A further Calgary
study found similar buildup in pregnant ewes, while their fetuses had
high mercury levels in the liver and the developing brain's pituitary
Pinning down symptoms for mercury poisoning is almost impossible:
Since it can accumulate in different tissues, its effects can be
unpredictable, and very localized. In Koss' case, the shifting diagnoses from
her doctors only made her more inquisitive. "As I learned more about
mercury, I kept thinking back to that day at the dentist, so soon before my
vision deteriorated." While a succession of doctors refused her offers
to show them dental journal studies regarding mercury toxicity in
relation to amalgam, she was told eventually that, in spite of her initial
test results, she was unlikely to have MS; instead, a condition known as
myasthenia gravis, another autoimmune disease which controls muscle
function, particularly near the eye, was more probable.
The illness hit Koss hard. While she spent months trying to work out
what caused her loss of vision, she let slip her career planning
events, for the National Museum of American Jewish History and, later,
through her own business, for clients such as the Annenberg Center. As she
started to come to terms with what had happened to her -- aided by the
eventual diagnosis by an environmental physician of a high mercury body
burden, based on tests that drew out the metal from her tissues -- she
found herself drawn to the idea of spreading the word. For, in the
process of gathering background on what she calls a "deliberate cover-up" of
the content of mercury fillings, she stumbled across a national
the Dental Amalgam Mercury Syndrome (DAMS), that offered support
and information for victims of poisoning. It seemed almost preordained
that she would get involved: The vice president of the organization,
Carol Ward, turned out also to live in Wynnewood, only a few
miles from Koss' house.
Ward received a call at 10:30 one night. It was Koss, having just
been misdiagnosed with MS, distraught at what she was learning about the
potential risk of amalgams. It only took a few moments for Ward to
recognize what she was hearing. "In all the people who call me, I've started
to notice a few patterns," she says. She was prepared to suggest to
Koss that, yes, she might have mercury poisoning: "We're not doctors or
dentists here at DAMS, so we always qualify it that way, but we can say,
ŒWhat worked for me....'"
What worked for Ward had been, in the end, complete removal of her
mercury amalgam fillings, some of which she had had since she was 7,
others which had been put in at age 47. She had been prone to infections
throughout her teens and, after having dental work done in her 20s, she
noticed she was unable to sleep and was losing her hair. By 1985, her
hectic life, working as the branch administrator at the Cobbs Creek Free
Library, or hiking, playing the piano and jogging in her free time, was
starting to take a downward slide. She noticed she was having
equilibrium problems, which she knew might signal the start of MS. Again, her
trips to various doctors yielded no answers, and it was only a
consultation with a nutritionist that first threw up the putative diagnosis of
adverse reaction to amalgam. Having found herself exhausted, housebound
and virtually incapable of moving about, Ward undertook a regimen of
vitamins and supplements aimed at strengthening her system and
helping to detox. Then, referred to a mercury-free dentist in Bala
Cynwyd, she was able to have her amalgams removed. It took time, since the
necessary drilling-out is considered to be a flashpoint for vapor
exposure, so a mouthful such as Ward's 16 fillings were removed by quadrant
(a quarter-mouth at a time). The results were undeniably remarkable:
Within a couple of visits, her continuous vision impairment receded,
allowing her to take up reading again. Even more extraordinary, she reports
experiencing her vision field return to normal in the car on the way
home from the last appointment, allowing her to see the horizon properly.
A practical person, not seemingly given to exaggeration, she puts it
quite simply: "Getting rid of a substance that is known to be toxic
allowed me to heal."
After detox, she found her hands could reach the intervals in a piano
concerto once again.
Koss was initially drawn to DAMS as an outlet for her zeal. She
subscribed to its mailing list, produced every three to four months, and
used its database of mercury-free practitioners to find someone who could
remove her amalgams safely. Yet her efforts were taken in a different
direction, after a chance suggestion that she get in touch with Anita
Tibau, based in California and working as West Coast representative of
the anti-amalgam movement's lobbying arm, Consumers for Dental Choice.
They met; shortly thereafter, Koss began working for the nonprofit as
director of development, organizing fundraising and outreach as Tibau's
East Coast counterpart.
Charles G. Brown, former attorney general of West Virginia and now a
D.C.-based lawyer, has represented Consumers for Dental Choice since
1996. Its national counsel for legislation, he remembers how the
organization got started. "We wanted to create a level playing field for
mercury-free dentists. We knew the ADA was harassing those dentists, and so
the situation was in defensive mode." Brown points to what he terms the
"gag rule" as evidence of the ADA's suppression of mercury-free
practice. In its Code of Ethics and Professional Conduct, the organization
ruled in 1986 that to recommend the removal of amalgam restorations "for
the alleged purpose of removing toxic substances from the body... is
improper and unethical." According to Brown, the ADA amended this clause
in May this year -- it now applies not only to amalgam but to all
materials. The actual bestowing of licenses to practice dentistry is handled
at the state level, by the dental boards. Yet the national ADA,
in an "outrageous partnership" with the state boards, Brown says, can
pursue a dentist to the point of revoking his or her license, if,
unsolicited, the dentist so much as nudges a patient in the direction of a
contents list, for amalgam or any other material. The ADA's Donovan
confirms that certain dentists have had their permits revoked, after
recommending "unwarranted" amalgam removal.
Consumers for Dental Choice argues that until dentists can discuss
filling materials openly with the patient, consumers are expected to make
treatment decisions without necessary information.

The Pennsylvania Dental Board refers to its code of professional
conduct on this issue, wherein it states, "The Board has neither the
resources nor the mandate to make or endorse scientific findings on this
issue." It recommends that dentists follow certain guidelines, including
explaining the current state of research to a patient and referring a
patient to a physician for recommendations on treatment before proceeding
with removal. Brown cites its stance as one he respects: "They, unlike
some other dental boards, do not seek to rule what the dentist can say
on the issue."

There are signs that cooperation between other state boards and the
ADA is starting to crumble. In March, the ACLU won an Oregon lawsuit
that forced the dental board to rescind its rule that discussion of
amalgam replacement constituted "fraud" because it violated dentists' First
Amendment rights.
However, Brown sees other instances of the ADA using its established
reputation to preserve the status quo: In its code of ethics,
"unsubstantiated representations" regarding the dentist's "capacity to cure or
alleviate diseases" refers to any statements not supported by "accepted
scientific evidence" -- which, in Brown's eyes, has been any research
the ADA wishes to discredit. "[It's] an amazing position for a group
that claims to have an interest in science. They do not have an interest
in science; their interest is economics." The ADA held patent on two
amalgam products until 1994 and 1995 respectively.
Lawsuits filed in other states, such as California and Maryland,
challenge the ADA on scientific and economic grounds. The suits allege that
the ADA engaged in "deceptive" business practices by referring to the
fillings as "silver" rather than "mercury." Furthermore, in some cases,
the suits claim, exposure from mercury coming partly from amalgams
contributed to cases of childhood autism. The ADA claims the suits are
without basis.
Besides autism, Alzheimer's has been the focus of research for its
connection to mercury toxicity. Boyd Haley, chair of the University of
Kentucky's department of chemistry and one of the movement's scientific
big hitters, has pioneered research into the biomarkers for this
neurological condition -- chemical changes in the body that might give some
clue as to the cause of the disease. These biomarkers -- two proteins,
tubulin and creatine kinase -- were found to be suppressed in sufferers
of Alzheimer's: The lower the tubulin uptake, the more likely the
formation of "tangles" of protein in the brain, a classic indicator of the
disease. "We found there was only one heavy metal which repeatedly was
causing those proteins to be suppressed," explains Haley. "It was
Government reaction to the anti-amalgam movement has been slow. A
five-year study begun in 1997 and funded by the National Institutes of
Health is measuring the behavioral, renal and neurological effects of
amalgams -- on two groups of children, one in Boston and Maine, one in
Lisbon, Portugal. Opponents of the study point to its relatively short
time-span, which may not yield results of long-term exposure. Meanwhile,
the House Committee on Government Reform held hearings in 2001 examining
increased rates of autism in the U.S. Haley addressed the hearings, as
did the ADA president, Dr. Robert Anderton. Haley later wrote a letter
of rebuttal to the ADA, challenging his statements. As he puts it,
"This was toxicology research being presented by a dentist, not a
Against this stormy backdrop, the introduction of a federal bill
aimed at abolishing the use of mercury in dentistry by 2006, and
immediately issuing warnings on the product against using the material for
children and pregnant or nursing women, appears timely. Remarkably, the bill
has bipartisan support: Democratic Rep. Diane Watson and Republican
Rep. Dan Burton worked together to introduce it to the House. While Watson
has been actively working toward disclosure legislation regarding
mercury amalgam since her days in the California legislature, Burton became
aware of the issue through its relation to the controversy over
thimerosal (a mercury compound) used in vaccines. Both sides of the issue, it
seems, are ready for a fight: While Watson says that the dental
establishment "wrongly" calls amalgam "silver," the ADA counters by stating
that "Watson's attempt to ban dental amalgam would effectively deprive
patients of an essential treatment that is clinically and
scientifically substantiated to be safe."
For his part, Brown says that common sense disputes this assertion:
"What pregnant woman, who won't even have a glass of wine, would want a
known neurotoxin in her system?"
The Watson-Burton bill has been referred to the Committee for Energy
and Commerce; in the meantime, while Koss and Tibau have spent time
lobbying for its support on Capitol Hill, Consumers for Dental Choice is
also focusing on state bills, such as the one Watson brought in
California in 1992. Three more have been passed, in Arizona, Maine and, most
recently, New Hampshire; Brown says states like New York and Pennsylvania
are natural contenders to follow the "trendsetter state" of California
because of their educated consumer base and active environmental
Until the current climate relaxes, however, practitioners such as Dr.
Blanche Grube know that mercury-free dentistry must tread softly. In
1984, she moved from New York with her husband, a chiropractor, down to
Scranton, "a secluded community." In 1992, her 20 years of practicing
conventional dentistry was brought to an abrupt halt. Grube and her
husband came across a patient of his, with a mouthful of fillings, whose
toxicity was affecting her muscles. Once she had familiarized herself with
the prevailing research, Grube stopped practicing altogether for a
time. "I was devastated to think that, while I had been hoping to help my
patients, I might have put them at risk." When she returned to work,
after traveling to classes and seminars to educate herself further, she
realized the benefits of her location. "Scranton has always been very
separate from the rest of the world. It's a good place for a holistic
dentist to hide."
She, like Brockman and DiLorenzo, learned about mercury exposure up
close. She recalls bouts of hives on her arms while working as a dental
assistant in Queens, N.Y., that corresponded to dermal contact with
liquid mercury; carpets would soak up mercury spills, and waste amalgam
was flushed down the drain or thrown in the trash. Now, she says, there's
increased concern regarding pollution from dental offices entering the
environment. Though she says that the EPA continues to leave its
guidelines at the door of dental practices -- "mercury is classed as
hazardous before it's placed, and hazardous waste once it's removed" -- a
voluntary statewide cooperation was launched in May 2000 by the Pennsylvania
Department of Environmental Protection and the Pennsylvania Dental
Association to cut down on pollutant dental waste.
Grube's long-term view of the need for holistic dentists who follow
extremely stringent standards in removing amalgams is reflected in her
work environment: No carpets -- and oxygen tanks and gas masks sit ready
for use when drilling into mercury. She categorically states that it is
not safe for the public to demand amalgam removal by a conventional
dentist. Careless removal, as Koss' story illustrates, can result in acute
exposure. Her advice is simply for patients to be aware -- and to avoid
amalgam placement where possible. (For fear of reprisals for her
mercury-free policy, Grube takes most of her patients on referral from
physicians, to work out whether they are suffering mercury toxicity.) In
allying herself with holistic dental organizations, she also acknowledges
the educational void surrounding issues of toxicity in dental care. "As
long as the ADA accredits dental schools, I don't believe the
revolution can start there." For that reason, she, together with
Brockman and DiLorenzo, sits on the board of the newly initiated
Institute for Natural Dentistry, an Academy of General Dentistry-accredited
organization wherein dentists can learn to reconcile their concerns
about toxicity with the available research and practical applications of
holistic treatment.
She sees the movement gaining pace, at its grassroots as much as at
its federal figurehead: for better or worse, not everyone can spend 10
years educating themselves now, as she did. "The fear," says Grube, "is
that when the public finds out that there's a neurotoxin in a dental
filling, there'll be a panic. Who'll be there to extract them safely, if
we don't learn now?"

Back to Mercury...


Doctors take an oath - TO DO NO HARM -we must hold them to their oath.
with much love,


, on Flickr
pd documentary - part 2 and 3



Resolve to be tender with the young, compassionate with the aged, sympathetic with the striving, and tolerant with the weak and the wrong. Sometime in your life you will have been all of these.
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Old 04-13-2007, 11:15 AM   #2
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Lightbulb MAD AS A HATTER - not just a quote from Alice in Wonderland

Lewis Carroll
frequently used common expressions, songs, nursery rhymes, etc., as the basis for characters in his stories. The origin of the phrase, it's believed, is that hatters really did go mad. The chemicals used in hat-making included mercurous nitrate, used in curing felt. Prolonged exposure to the mercury vapors caused mercury poisoning. Victims developed severe and uncontrollable muscular tremors and twitching limbs, called 'hatter's shakes'; other symptoms included distorted vision and confused speech. Advanced cases developed hallucinations and other psychotic symptoms.

Few people who use the phrase today realise that there’s a story of human suffering behind it; the term actually derives from an early industrial occupational disease. Felt hats were once very popular in North America and Europe; an example is the top hat. The best sorts were made from beaver fur, but cheaper ones used furs such as rabbit instead.

A complicated set of processes was needed to turn the fur into a finished hat. With the cheaper sorts of fur, an early step was to brush a solution of a mercury compound — usually mercurous nitrate — on to the fur to roughen the fibres and make them mat more easily, a process called carroting because it made the fur turn orange. Beaver fur had natural serrated edges that made this unnecessary, one reason why it was preferred, but the cost and scarcity of beaver meant that other furs had to be used.

Whatever the source of the fur, the fibres were then shaved off the skin and turned into felt; this was later immersed in a boiling acid solution to thicken and harden it. Finishing processes included steaming the hat to shape and ironing it. In all these steps, hatters working in poorly ventilated workshops would breathe in the mercury compounds and accumulate the metal in their bodies.

We now know that mercury is a cumulative poison that causes kidney and brain damage. Physical symptoms include trembling (known at the time as hatter’s shakes), loosening of teeth, loss of co-ordination, and slurred speech; mental ones include irritability, loss of memory, depression, anxiety, and other personality changes. This was called mad hatter syndrome.

It’s been a very long time since mercury was used in making hats, and now all that remains is a relic phrase that links to a nasty period in manufacturing history. But mad hatter syndrome remains common as a description of the symptoms of mercury poisoning.

World Wide Words is copyright © Michael Quinion, 1996–2007.

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Page created 3 March 2001.
with much love,


, on Flickr
pd documentary - part 2 and 3



Resolve to be tender with the young, compassionate with the aged, sympathetic with the striving, and tolerant with the weak and the wrong. Sometime in your life you will have been all of these.
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Old 04-15-2007, 04:37 PM   #3
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My Mood: Dental Amalgam Mercury Syndrome (DAMS)-ie:mercury poisoning!

Hi tenalouise,

Both articles are so informative.... thank you for sharing them!

I know Drs DiLorenzo, Brockman and Grube. I am in the same peer circle as they are as we share in similar philosophies. DiLorenzo and Brockman gave up their dental practice after the state boards made life unbearable for them because of their voicetrous opinions about the toxicity of certain dental materials and procedures that the ADA condones as being safe. Blanche Grube has also had her head on the chopping block for the same reasons. She is still in dentistry, but only takes patients who have been referred by integrative physicians and dentists. All three of these dentists are actually patients at the office that I work in!

I like many others who have been in dentistry for a long time, have numerous stories about mercury toxicity, including my own personal experience as well. Mercury should never ever be placed anywhere in or near the body for any reason. It is highly toxic in any form and people are suffering life long illnesses because of it. Unfortunately, the longer you have heavy metal toxicity in your brain and bloodstream, the harder it is to get rid of.

Fortuantely, the consumer is becoming more and more informed about the dangers of mercury and hopefully the conventional dental community will heed the warnings sooner than later!

Thanks again for sharing!

Last edited by Bryanna; 04-15-2007 at 09:26 PM.
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Old 04-16-2007, 06:19 PM   #4
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My Mood: Dental Amalgam Mercury Syndrome (DAMS)-ie:mercury poisoning!

How hard is it to get these fillings OUT of teeth? Are our only options to have teeth yanked that have mercury amalgams in them? I asked because I have like five molars left with DEEP fillings...The teeth seem to be cracked to the gumline too like from the fillings expanding and contracting I would guess. They are over twenty years old, what should people like me do about this Bryanna? I am scared they are going to be hard to get rid of...
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Old 04-17-2007, 07:04 AM   #5
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there are dentists who specialize in removing the silver fillings
one has to choose really carefully as there are also those jumping on to the procedure because it is lucrative

it is a laborious procedure and is usually done just one or 2 fillings at a time

one needs to build immunity before the procedure and also take mercury mop up supplements like Chlorella after as it is inevitable for some mercury and vapors to get into the system during removal.

I am sure Bryanna will have more info on this for you



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Old 04-17-2007, 10:37 AM   #6
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My Mood: Dental Amalgam Mercury Syndrome (DAMS)-ie:mercury poisoning!

Thanks for the information Chemar. I really am glad this forum is here.
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Old 04-18-2007, 12:12 PM   #7
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My Mood: Dental Amalgam Mercury Syndrome (DAMS)-ie:mercury poisoning!

Hi Pamster,
It is not difficult to remove the fillings, but it is imperative that the proper protocol be followed before, during and after the removal.

The pre op protocol is based on the individual needs of the patient and is usually prescribed by an Integrative Physician who is well versed in the toxicity of mercury. It can include various types of modalities, but always involves certain nutritional and herbal supplements to help the immune system protect the organs, etc. The nutritional and chelation protocol is carried out throughout the removal process and beyond depending on the individual needs.

During the actual removal in the dental chair, the dentist and assistant provide the patient and themselves with specific protection to minimize the exposure to the mercury vaoprs. This should include: Isolation of the tooth/teeth being worked on with a rubber damn or an Isolite; A high speed suction is held directly over the tooth/teeth being worked on; The patient is placed on oxygen; The room has a special air filtration system to draw out mercury vapors and replace good air flow back into the room; The dentist and assistant wear facial protection and often a mask that resembles a gas mask. All of these things are necessary to help avoid unnecessary exposure of mercury pieces and vapors to anyone in the room.

If possible, it is generally best to work on one quadrant of the mouth at each visit because it will take less anesthetic injections and less visits, than if you were to have one tooth done at a time.

Generally a patient will see their Integrative Physician and be on their preop protocol for about 4-12 weeks prior to having their first removal. They come into the dental office for the removal and replacement fillings and then see their Integrative physician sometime later that same day for chelation therapy to help mop up any residual mercury vapors that got into their system. There are various forms of chelation therapy and that choice is individualized according to the patients needs. It can be oral, transdermal, rectal suppositories or intravenous.

Replacement options of those mercury fillings is yet another issue. Generally, a biocompatible acrylic material (tooth colored) is used. However, if there is alot of natural tooth structure missing, then the tooth would require some type of an onlay or crown. High noble metal such as gold can be used, but
for people who are sensitive to metals or who do not like the appearance of them, they can request restorations made from zirconium.

Another issue that can arise is the possibility of losing some of the teeth that have mercury fillings in them. Mercury is temperature sensitive, so there is alot of expansion and contraction with these type fillings which cause cracks to form in the surrounding tooth structure. They also generally have leaky margins from corrosion as they age, making the likelihood of decay underneath them a good possibility. So if during the removal, the decay is found to be into the nerve, then the only options are root canal or extraction. Also, anytime a tooth is drilled into, there is a chance of traumatizing the nerve which could be either a temporary condition or permanent. If it is permanent, then the options again are root canal or extraction.

It is best to seek a consultation with a Biological Dentist who is well versed in the issue of mercury toxicity and who is familiar and practices the proper removal protocol. It can be done very safely and with little exposure to anyone. Here is a website that lists by state some dentists are equipped to remove mercury fillings properly.




I hope this information is helpful to you. Please keep in mind that the majority of adult americans have mercury in their mouths. Does this mean it's ok to be there, no. It just means that you are not alone and as the consumer becomes more aware of the toxicity of mercury, the more familiar dentists will become with removing it properly.

Let us know if you have further questions that we may be able to help with

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