Joining a distinguished group of colleagues at the University of Illinois School of Public Health, we announced the new Chicago Declaration to End Dental Industry Mercury Use – a statement by 50 organizations calling for action on amalgam.
The signers are among the leading national environment, public health, and children’s rights groups in America: Sierra Club, Greenpeace, Health Care Without Harm, Clean Water Action, Learning Disabilities Association of America, International Indian Treaty Council, Organic Consumers Association, Environmental Working Group, Regeneration International, Mercury Policy Project, Organic and Natural Health Association, Los Jardines Institute, and Ecology Center.
Signers of the Chicago Declaration also include important state-based nonprofit groups from half the states, such as Physicians for Social Responsibility-Chicago, Texas Campaign for the Environment, Connecticut Coalition for Environmental Justice, Clean and Healthy New York, the California-based Coalition for Clean Air, Pennsylvania Council of Churches, and the Ohio Environmental Council.
The Chicago Declaration calls for….
- matching the European Union by ending amalgam use in children, pregnant women, and breastfeeding mothers in 2018, based on the precautionary principle
- phasing out new amalgam placement by the end of 2020 with time-limited specified exceptions
- action by FDA to bring its policies in line with the Minamata Convention on Mercury and to publicly advise a phase down of the use of amalgam with the goal of phasing out entirely
While FDA action is urged, we shall not wait for FDA to act! As explained by Beth McGaw, President, Learning Disabilities Association of America, “Today, every parent in America needs to insist their dentists only use mercury-free dental fillings for their child.” And why not? To quote Jessica Saepoff, DDS, former Commissioner of the Washington State Dental Quality Assurance Commission, “Mercury-free dentistry is practical, it is a superior technology and it is tooth-friendly – minimally invasive – while amalgam is not.”
After all, as Consumers for Dental Choice executive director Charlie Brown told the news conference announcing the Chicago Declaration on Monday, “Twenty-first century dentistry is mercury-free dentistry.”