Federal health officials have refused to put new restrictions on the use of thimerosal, a mercury-based preservative, in vaccines and other medicines.
The Coalition for Mercury-free Drugs petitioned the FDA for tighter restrictions in 2004, citing evidence that the preservative could be linked to autism. In a reply made public only recently, the FDA rejected the petition.
The Coalition for Mercury-free Drugs currently plans to seek a court order that would force the FDA to remove thimerosal from all vaccines and medicines until it is demonstrated that the preservative is safe.
Thimerosal, which is about 50 percent mercury by weight, is used to kill microbes in vaccines. Since 2001, vaccines given to children 6 and younger have contained at most trace amounts of the preservative. It is still, however, present in some adult vaccines, including most doses of flu vaccine, and in some eye ointments, nasal sprays, and antivenins.
In related news, a government advisory panel has concluded that an FDA safety report suggesting that "silver" mercury amalgam fillings are safe was "unreasonable," and that further study was needed.
The safety report was deemed murky and misleading, and failed to answer concerns regarding why mercury was being used at all. Dental amalgam contains about 50 percent elemental mercury, and studies have shown that with time, mercury vapors leach out of the fillings and may be absorbed into the bloodstream.
MSNBC October 24, 2006
Journal of American Medical Association October 25, 2006; 296(16): 1990-1997
Belleville News Democrat September 29, 2006
The American Board of Clinical Metal Toxicology (ABCMT) has this important message:
We have until November 9, 2006 to flood the FDA docket with research and stories of the dangers of dental mercury and heavy metals. The purpose of this docket is to gather additional information from the public on the issue of mercury in dental amalgam and the potential neurotoxicity. While scientific information is extremely important, the panel is particularly interested in the individual stories of people who were personally affected by mercury.
Recent FDA hearings regarding safety of mercury, denied by an independent panel, present an incredible opportunity for all doctors treating metal toxicity. We have until November 9, 2006 to supply information to the FDA docket that was forced open by a Senator from Wyoming, as well as Rep. Dan Burton from Indiana and Rep. Diane Watson of California.
To ensure that the docket is sufficiently supplied with information and to ensure the members of Congress who have expressed an interest in this issue are kept apprised, we are asking that everyone send your copies of studies and patients' responses, etc., via e-mail to Dr. Rebecca Painter at firstname.lastname@example.org.
This is a limited opportunity because once the FDA docket closes, they will not allow any more evidence to be included or considered.
It is important to note that the docket is also open to letters from patients. A sample letter that Dr. Painter has created and that has been used by her patients will be posted on www.abcmt.org. Your patients who have benefited from having their mercury fillings and other metals removed can use this letter, or portions thereof, and send a personalized version of this letter to Dr. Painter.
She will then compile the information and get it to the FDA docket and the various members in Congress who have an interest in this agenda. Please send all the articles regarding the issue of mercury, amalgams, thimerosal, etc., to Dr. Painter. We have collected almost 100 studies but there are many more and we need your help in collecting this evidence for the docket.
Please, get this to Dr. Painter at the above e-mail address as quickly as possible since this MUST be received prior to November 9.
Written material can be mailed to the FDA at this address:
Dockets Management Branch (HFA-305)
Food and Drug Administration
5630 Fishers Lane, Room 1061
Rockville, MD 20852
Please reference Docket number 2006N-0352
For more information, please also visit Consumers for Dental Choice and International Academy of Oral Medicine and Toxicology as well as ABCMT.