FDA Weighs Safety of Mercury in Dental Fillings

ORLANDO - The Food and Drug Administration is telling Florida activists that it's reconsidering its position on the use of mercury in dental fillings. The issue was the focus of a town hall meeting in Orlando last week. [audio:http://eunalhee.com/wp-content/uploads/Lhee_FDAmercury.mp3|artists=Lhee|titles=FDAmercury]

There have long been questions about the safety of the silver-colored amalgam fillings that contain mercury.

The FDA says they're safe, even though mercury is a known toxin. But anti-mercury activists say the fillings cause health problems, ranging from mental disorders to autoimmune diseases.

Freya Koss helped mobilize campaigners to speak out at last week's FDA town hall meeting in Orlando.

"We want the FDA to ban the use of mercury in dentistry," Koss said. "There is no reason to continue to use mercury fillings any longer."

Mercury fillings are already illegal in several Scandinavian countries.

The FDA's Jeff Shuren said his agency has reconvened an advisory panel that's been looking into the issue since December.

"We take this very seriously, which is why we announced we would revisit our policy," Shuren said. "It’s why we brought a panel of experts back together to revisit the state of the science and to hear from the public."

Shuren hopes a decision will be reached by the end of this year. [HealthyState.org | FPR Spot]