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Letters: Amalgam safety

January 23, 2017 I find the issue of the Environmental Protection Agency requiring dentists to use amalgam separators to be a two-edged sword (“EPA to Require Dentists to Use Amalgam Separators,” Jan. 9 ADA News). The EPA wants us to take waste amalgam out of the environment, but the ADA still endorses it as a safe restorative material. What a dichotomy. Eliminate the source, ban its use and this problem will eventually disappear. There is no real, good reason to continue to use this toxic poison in people’s mouths with the current state of the dental material world. I stopped playing with mercury in 1996. Maybe this is a grass roots issue the ADA holds on to and does not ban its use. After all, isn’t that one of the main scientific stands on how the ADA formed originally? Join us if you want to use this amalgam alloy as a dental restorative material.

Joseph M. Boesch, D.D.S.
Rockville, Maryland

Editor’s note: The ADA Council on Scientific Affairs notes that while research from the Health Policy Institute at the ADA shows that use of amalgam has declined over time, currently the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the European Commission’s Scientific Committee on Emerging and Newly Identified Health Risks all concur that amalgam is safe for use as a dental restorative. Information about this and other information about amalgam safety is available on the ADA Oral Health Topic page on amalgam on ADA.org/en/member-center/oral-health-topics/amalgam. The ADA’s concern for the environment is in no way inconsistent with the well-founded position that amalgam is a safe and effective treatment option. That position rests on the best available research.