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ADA urges Congress to oppose amalgam resolution

Washington—Citing "the best available science," the American Dental Association urged members of Congress against supporting a resolution which "advances the misconception that because dental amalgam contains mercury, it is toxic." The resolution offered by Rep. Diane Watson (D-Calif.) was referred to the House Committee on Energy and Commerce.

The letter urges House members not to sign on as cosponsors of H. Res. 648, which is titled as "expressing the need for enhanced public awareness of potential health effects posed by mercury" and makes frequent reference to dental amalgam.

"We believe public policy should be guided by sound science, carefully analyzed and applied to the facts," says the Sept. 15 letter co-signed by ADA President John S. Findley and Executive Director Kathleen O'Loughlin. "In the interest of ensuring that public policy is guided by credible, peer-reviewed science, we urge you not to cosponsor H. Res. 648."

The ADA letter and amalgam resources for health professionals, the media and the public are posted at www.ada.org/goto/dentalamalgam.

H. Res. 648 refers frequently to dental amalgam and "is premised on the notion that the mercury in dental amalgam makes it toxic," the Association said.

"This view is simply not supported by the vast body of credible, peer-reviewed science," the ADA told members of Congress. "In fact, many claims of amalgam being a toxic substance have been based on non-peer reviewed 'junk science' and an abundance of misinformation that has flourished on the Internet."

H. Res. 648, a non-legislative measure expressing nonbinding opinions, had 31 bipartisan cosponsors in mid-September. Two earlier cosponsors later withdrew their support.