The following is a story from BBC News on  Tuesday 30th April 2002:

 

 



Dentists may be at risk of developing kidney and memory problems because of their exposure to mercury, a study suggests.

Mercury is used (safely???) in teeth fillings but long-term exposure can cause serious health problems.

A study by researchers at the University of Glasgow suggests that dentists may be at particular risk.

Dr Ewan Macdonald and colleagues found that dentists had higher levels of mercury in their bodies, compared with a sample group of academics.

They also found that dentists were significantly more likely to report kidney disorders and memory disturbances than the academic staff.

 
 



 

The authors stopped short of making a direct link. But writing in the journal Occupational and Environmental Medicine, they said: "As mercury exposure at higher levels is known to cause similar health effects an association cannot be ruled out."

Researchers obtained urine, hair and nail samples from 180 dentists in the west of Scotland and 180 academics from the University of Glasgow. Levels of mercury were four times higher on average among dentists compared with academics.

The levels were found to be strongly associated with the number of hours worked, the number of fillings handled and the number of fillings they had themselves. While the mercury concentrations were high, just one of the dentists had levels in excess of health and safety recommendations.

Nevertheless, dentists were 10 times more likely to have sought medical treatment for kidney disorders and three times more likely to have experienced fertility problems. There were also more than twice as likely to have suffered from memory disturbances.
 

 



 

The authors called for more research to be carried out and for dental surgeries to be monitored to ensure staff are not exposed to high mercury concentrations.

They wrote: "Further health surveillance of all members of dental teams, including dental nurses and dental hygienists, should be carried out to determine the nature of this association and the preventive health measures which may be required."

In an accompanying editorial, Dr Dianna Echeverria, from Battelle Center for Public Health Research and Evaluation in Seattle, said more research was needed. She said the study had failed to compare like with like and would have been better if it had included dentists who were not exposed to mercury in their work. She said: "A more uniform dental population needs to be evaluated."

A spokesman for the British Dental Association said: "The BDA is interested to see the results of this research, albeit on the basis of a small sample of dentists."

It suggested dentists could limit their exposure to mercury by wearing gloves, ensuring good ventilation in rooms, take steps to minimise the risk of spills and that instruments and equipment are cleaned thoroughly.

The BDA also recommends regular testing of clinical staff.

 

 



 

Harley Street, mercury-free dentist, Dr. Hesham El-Essawy became extremely ill himself due to mercury amalgam, although at first he didn't make the connection between his illness and the fillings he had been working with for years.

During a tutorial of dental materials in dental school in 1965, Hesham saw mercury outside of a thermometer for the first time. The tutorial was part of the students introduction to Amalgam. His tutor told the students they must never touch the mercury with their bare hands as it was very poisonous. Hesham asked the tutor why, if it was so poisonous, were they using it in people's teeth. He laughed at him and the rest of the class, as he told him that once the mercury is mixed with the amalgam alloy it is locked in and a new compound is formed. Of course, like thousands of other dentists before, and after him, Hesham believed the tutor. He thought...he's the tutor, I'm the student, he must be right.

When Hesham finally became a dentist he used amalgam, as all dentists must on the NHS, and those private dentists who wish to keep the cost down for the patients, as it was hard wearing, easy to use, and cheap. But, when a new white filling was introduced on the market in the early 1970s, Hesham began to use it, as it looked far better than the silvery/black amalgam fillings, but, as he was working for some time in the NHS, he had to use amalgam for all the patients, except for those who wished to have the white fillings and so pay more.

One day, after suffering from toothache, Hesham asked a colleague to take a look at his teeth. He looked, got his needle out, stuck it in him and started drilling. Afterwards, whilst walking to his car Hesham felt that he'd had all the stuffing knocked out of him. He thought it must be the anaesthetic which was making him feel like that. Little did he know what was in store for him.

Some years later, Hesham began to have problems with his digestive system, abdominal cramps, severe diarrhoea. He saw many doctors, who would examine him and then tell him there was nothing wrong. No diagnosis, no treatment. Eighteen months later, Hesham decided to take matters into his own hands and find out for himself what was wrong with him. He found out that it was wheat that was causing his stomach problems as well as cow's milk and its products to a lesser extent. When he avoided these he had no stomach problems of that kind. But, his health started to deteriorate. He began to suffer frequent colds, flu, sore throat, headaches, disturbed sleep, mood swings together with loss of energy. He felt as if his brain was foggy and couldn't think properly. But he still failed to make the connection with mercury.

By the 80's, Hesham threw away his amalgam and used only white fillings and he started to look again at the question of mercury. Could it be true that amalgam is a health hazard? He read about it, and was completely shocked at what he read. Amalgam is not at all the stable compound we once thought it was. It loses its mercury all the time, in many forms, and where would it all go but mostly down into his body. If mercury is the highly toxic substance they say it is, then, despite all the denials, both he and many of his patients were being slowly poisoned.

He then thought about asbestos...lead, thalidomide...all other things which were thought to be safe at one point but now would never be used and are banned. There were similar denials then as there were about mercury...yet mercury was still being used.

Thankfully, Hesham had found the connection and he was, at last, able to get himself back to full health and vowed never to use amalgam again.

 


 



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Disclaimer:


The information on this website is provided for educational and information purposes only and may not be construed as medical advice or instruction. No action or inaction should be taken based solely on the contents herein; instead, readers should consult appropriate health professionals.
If you think you may be suffering from amalgam mercury poisoning PLEASE seek profession help and do not try to 'cut corners' by not going to the correct type of dentist, by not chelating and by not following your practitioner's advice completely.

The information on this website is based upon the experiences of the owner and other sufferers who have told freely of their own experiences. All information is believed to be accurate.  Lyn Rennick's AMPS Society cannot be held responsible or liable for anything untoward happening if the reader does not follow any instructions to the letter.