California City Says Stop Dental Amalgam Immediately
by Charlie Brown, JD
Costa Mesa, California has become the first city in the United States to call for an immediate end to dental amalgam, the controversial filling material that is 50% mercury. Voting 5-0 on 19 October 2010, the Costa Mesa City Council adopted the resolution* sponsored by Councilman Gary Monahan that (1) calls on federal and state agencies to eliminate amalgam, (2) asks dentists in Costa Mesa to cease using mercury and switch to non-toxic alternatives, and (3) requests that the other 33 cities in Orange County join Costa Mesa in opposing dental mercury. While as a resolution, it does not actually ban amalgam, it is an important step toward ending this health and environmental scourage.
“There are so many alternatives and I can’t understand why we’re putting this in our mouth,” explained Councilman Monahan. “[I]t’s incredibly dangerous to people getting them and to the environment.”
The watershed Monahan Resolution is the first success for Californians for Green Dentistry, a new project of Consumers for Dental Choice. Californians for Green Dentistry has a trio of dedicated leaders: Director Anita Vazquez Tibau spearheaded the strategy leading to this resolution along with dental hygienist Marisa Russo and naturopath Kristy Mills.
Since July, our hardworking California volunteers distributed handouts alerting the public to the problem of dental amalgam, gained the support of numerous local health professionals and businesses, and collected hundreds of signatures on petitions to city council. In response, the Costa Mesa City Council granted us the hearing to address dental mercury. At the city council hearing, our talented team – including dentists, health professionals, injured consumers, scientists, advocates, and even former Californian Dental Board member Dr. Chet Yokoyama – offered poignant testimony calling for a ban on dental mercury.
Our story is told by video that can be viewed by clicking here, and dentist Dr. Jim Rota’s compelling testimony can be viewed in full by clicking here.** We also made the front page of the local news, which can be read online.***
It’s time to take this primitive and polluting mercury product off the market, and we can start in the trend-setting state of California! If you are a Californian and want to join the Californians for Green Dentistry team in the fight against dental mercury, please write Anita and me at firstname.lastname@example.org . Let us know your name, home county, and home city.
No matter where you are from, please thank Costa Mesa Councilman Gary Monahan for standing up to protect our communities, and especially our children, from dental mercury. He can be reached by email at email@example.com
Congratulations Costa Mesa, California!
Charles G. Brown, National Counsel
Consumers for Dental Choice
316 F St. NE, Suite 210
Washington, DC 20002