Contact:                 Glenn Turner, 917-817-3396, [email protected]

Shayna Samuels, 718-541-4785, [email protected]


FDA Responds to Citizens’ Petitions Concerning

the Mercury in Dental Fillings


(Washington, DC) — In response to a lawsuit filed on March 5, 2014, FDA agreed to submit responses to three citizens’ petitions filed with FDA in September 2009 challenging FDA’s position on the safety of mercury tooth fillings. The citizens’ petitions allege that the published scientific literature demonstrates that the absorption of mercury from these filings presents an unacceptable risk to the health of those in whom this material is placed. The lawsuit alleges that FDA has failed to respond to these petitions within the six-month period provided by regulation. In December 2010, the FDA announced its intention to complete its review by the end of 2011, but it did not actually respond until January 27.


The petitions call for either a formal ban on amalgam use, or classification of these fillings in FDA’s Class III. Such classification would require: 1) additional restrictions for vulnerable individuals; 2) more stringent proof of safety; and 3) an Environmental Impact Statement. In August 2009, FDA classified this dental device in Class II, prescribing no controls or other measures intended to protect the public.


Yesterday, FDA filed its responses claiming that only some clarifications to FDA’s 2009 Final Rule are warranted, and that amalgam will continue to be classified in Class II. Attorney James M. Love, who filed the lawsuit, stated that, “the FDA continues to allow the American people to be poisoned by their mercury fillings despite the scientifically demonstrated risks. Despite the shift of many countries away from mercury fillings, it appears that the FDA believes that the human mouth is a safe place to store mercury.” He further stated that, “the burden of proving safety is on FDA, but FDA ignores this principal and places the burden on us to conclusively prove these fillings are causing diseases. FDA presumes that these fillings are safe– even for fetuses—while admitting that it has no data demonstrating safety.


“The FDA continues to ignore the fact that the majority of people with mercury amalgam fillings continue to be exposed to daily doses of mercury vapor that exceed safe levels as determined by government agencies around the world. Indeed, despite several independent published risk assessments demonstrating the health risks associated with these fillings, FDA’s risk assessment ‘justifies’ the continued use of mercury fillings as an acceptable dental restorative material.”


Top scientists have repeatedly warned the FDA of the risk of harm posed by mercury released from dental fillings: