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California Keeps Warning Label on Amalgams

Mercury is Still Dangerous… Despite what the Dental Board Wants You to Think

In November of 2010, the California Dental Board announced it would be reviewing the Watson Law fact sheet (a sheet of paper dentist are required to make available to patients that states warnings on various dental materials, including mercury amalgam fillings). The subcommittee reviewing the sheet consisted of two pro-mercury dentists. At that time, there was a real threat of the warning about amalgam being removed entirely from the sheet.

Today, Charlie Brown of National Counsel, Consumers for Dental Choice, announced that the mercury amalgam label will in fact REMAIN on the Watson Law fact sheet.

You can see his message in it’s entirety, below.

California Dental Board Backs Down on Amalgam Fact Sheet

Dear California dentists, health professionals, and consumers,

The Dental Board of California has dropped a plan to weaken the warnings about amalgam required in the Watson Law fact sheet. The stark warnings in that fact sheet – which must go to every dental patient – will remain:

“Dental Amalgam: Mercury in its elemental form is on
the State of California’s Proposition 65 list of chemicals
known to the state to cause reproductive toxicity.
Mercury may harm the developing brain of a child or fetus.”

At its November 2010 meeting, the Dental Board announced that it would review the fact sheet and created a subcommittee of two pro-mercury dentists to propose changes. While the Board was content to let the California Dental Association call the shots, Consumers for Dental Choice was ready to make the mercury-free dentistry movement heard.

We began to organize the kind of coalition we had that led to the demise of the predecessor dental board (which, in violation of the Watson Law, had refused to produce any fact sheet at all). Consumer activist Anita Vazquez Tibau testified before the Board at its November 5 meeting, calling for a stronger – not a weaker – fact sheet, one that acknowledged the 2009 FDA rule’s warning that amalgam endangers the neurological systems of children and unborn babies. We followed up with strongly-worded letters. While the Board’s executive officer refused to answer, he got the message.

Last Friday, the Dental Board retreated, announcing it will not weaken the California fact sheet.

— Charlie

Charlie Brown
National Counsel, Consumers for Dental Choice

What is the Watson Law Fact Sheet? This note comes from ):

“LNH Note: The Watson Law, passed in 1992, requires the Dental Board to list the risks of mercury and other dental fillings. The previous Dental Board ducked its responsibilities under the Watson Law so blatantly, that the legislature shut the Board down. The Figueroa Amendment, passed in 2001, requires dentists to distribute a consumer-friendly fact sheet to patients. Have you ever received one from your dentist?”