Bid to ban amalgam fillings
Juliet Pratt is waging a war on amalgam fillings.
The single mum juggles sons, business and an active sports life.
But she went through a period where she was slowed by migraines, swollen glands and glandular fever.
She also developed multiple chemical sensitivities, short-term memory loss, numbness, an irregular heartbeat, and a chronic cold that never cleared.
Mrs Pratt was eventually also diagnosed with chronic fatigue syndrome.
“I couldn’t walk for more than 10 minutes at a time, and no amount of sleep relieved the tiredness,” she says. “It was utterly debilitating.” A solution took years and Mrs Pratt believes many of her problems were caused by amalgam fillings.
The fillings contain mercury, which is toxic, and Mrs Pratt says it can be absorbed into the bloodstream.
She says more than half of American dentists are mercuryfree and Sweden banned amalgam fillings in 1993.
“The Swedish government pays 70 percent of the costs of removing the fillings. Also, in 1993 Germany’s largest manufacturer of amalgam stopped making it.
“The argument that it is fine because it has been used for 150 years makes no scientific sense.
“We have abandoned other remnants of pre-American Civil War medicine and all other uses of mercury, but not dentistry?”
Mrs Pratt says people should research links between mercury and alzheimers disease, arthritis, asthma, cardiovascular disease, depression, autism, multiple sclerosis, liver disorders and parkinsons disease.
“Significant numbers of alzheimers patients have shown abnormally high levels of mercury in areas concerned with memory.
“The economic impact these diseases will have on New Zealand will be dramatic in years to come.”
The New Zealand Dental Association disagrees.
“On the basis of the extensive worldwide scientific evidence available, the association believes amalgam is a safe and effective filling material,” executive director David Crum says.
“Why would it be in a dentist’s interests to use a material that did not produce good results for their patients?” he says.
“The World Health Organisation, the Federation of Dentistry International and many world-renowned dental research institutes, including the dental faculty at Otago University, continue to support the use of dental amalgam.”
Mr Crum says the Swedish Research Council recently concluded there is no scientific proof that the removal of amalgam fillings will lead to an improvement in the general level of health.
“There are probably varying reasons why dentists support the mercury-free claims,” he says.
“I think some dentists involved, in a misguided way, genuinely believe what they are doing is correct. There are some who make a lot of money out of providing amalgam replacement.”
“There are few things more cruel than the promotion of unproven miracle cures to those of our community who are seriously affected by alzheimers, multiple sclerosis and the myriad other conditions some claim they can cure.
“I am proud to be a member of a science-based profession that takes an ethical and proactive stand against such cruelty.”
The New Zealand Dental Association website, www.nzda.org. nz, explains amalgam safety.
Mrs Pratt is setting up a register of people who have been affected by mercury amalgam.
“My aim is to ban the fillings in New Zealand,” she says.
For information email her at firstname.lastname@example.org, call 3599911 or 0275-309-319, go to www. mercuryfreenow.com.
Amalgam nightmare: Juliet Pratt shares her story of recovery.