Bill to ban mercury dental fillings reintroduced in House
Nov. 3 -- U.S. Rep. Diane E. Watson, D-Calif., has reintroduced a bill that would ban the use of mercury in dental fillings.
The Mercury in Dental Fillings Disclosure and Prevention Act would prohibit interstate sales of mercury for use in dental fillings after 2008.
In addition, the bill would establish an immediate prohibition on the use of dental amalgams in pregnant women and children under 18.
"Mercury is the most toxic naturally occurring element on the Earth," Rep. Watson said. "Many Americans are still not aware that the vast majority of dental filling used by dentists - referred to as a silver filling - contains more than 50 percent mercury."
Watson contends that safer alternatives are available.
The American Dental Association has opposed Watson´s bill in the past, saying it would deprive patients of an essential treatment that is proven safe and effective.
Mercury can be toxic, but the process of making amalgam fillings binds the mercury and makes it stable and safe, according to the ADA. Banning its use would unnecessarily increase the cost of dental care, according to the AMA.