Juliet gets her teeth into campaign
An Auckland woman who believes she was poisoned by her mercury fillings is taking her anti-amalgam campaign to the government.
Juliet Pratt has gathered 1300 signatures on a petition to have the toxic substance banned in dental fillings.
She will present it to Green Party MP Sue Kedgley at a press conference in Grey Lynn on Monday.
The city-based financial adviser wants an immediate ban on mercury amalgam fillings in children and pregnant women, with the fillings completely phased out by 2013.
Her determination comes after suffering nine years of chronic fatigue and other health problems, which she says were caused by her 40 mercury filling surfaces.
Since having had them removed and going through an extensive detoxification process, she says her health has improved but she still suffers the effects.
She’s also had a strong response from other sufferers since talking publicly about her story.
“I said to myself, ‘This is the turning point. I can’t walk away from it’. It really started my campaign in a big way.”
In November she recruited a team including marathon runner Alison Roe and Green MP Metiria Turei to complete the Lake Taupo Cycle Challenge in specially printed shirts to raise awareness of the campaign.
The other four members cycled 40km each, while Ms Pratt cycled the whole 160km, beating her team by five minutes.
She says the shirts are a great conversation starter and have helped raise awareness of the issue.
Ms Pratt has also been invited to speak about her experiences at an international conference in Canada in April and is determined to see the government here take action.
“The government has to do something now, because there could become an epidemic of baby boomers who are going to suffer the health effects from their mercury amalgam fillings.”
The New Zealand Dental Association maintains the fillings are safe and do not pose a threat to health.
In a statement on its consumer website, it says there is no scientifi evidence that patients would develop diseases from having the fillings.
However, it does advise dentists to avoid doing elective dental procedures on pregnant women where “clinically reasonable”, including the placement or removal of any fillings.
Ms Kedgley will send the petition on to the select committees, which will decide whether to consider it.
“I think we have to look at the wisdom of putting amalgam fillings, which are 50 percent mercury, into people’s mouths when there are alternatives,” she says.
For more information on mercury toxicity, go to www.mercu ryfreenow.com, www. hugnet.com or contact Ms Pratt at www.juli etpratt.co.nz.
Mercury mission: Juliet Pratt completed the Lake Taupo Cycle Challenge to raise awareness of her anti-amalgam campaign.