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Costa Mesa Leads the Way on Banning Dental Mercury in the US

Posted Oct 20 2010 9:03am

Marisa Russo - Californians for Green Dentistry, Charlie Brown, Consumers for Dental Choice, Washington, DC, and Anita Tibau, Kelly Gallagher and Kristy Mills - Californians for Green Dentistry

On July 29, 2010, Californians for Green Dentistry launched an initiative to ban dental mercury, creating mercury-free dental zones in California. The pilot project was the city of Costa Mesa, a forward-thinking city of 113,000+ residents in Orange County.

Last night, Costa Mesa City Council passed the Monahan Resolution, appropriately named for Councilman Gary Monahan, who has an autistic son, and realizes first-hand the deleterious impact mercury has on health and the environment. It is the first of it's kind in the US.

Here's a copy of the resolution
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RESOLUTION NO.10- "THE MONAHAN RESOLUTION"

A RESOLUTION OF THE CITY OF COSTA MESA OPPOSING THE USE OF DENTAL MERCURY

THE CITY COUNCIL OF THE CITY OF COSTA MESA HEREBY RESOLVES AS FOLLOWS
WHEREAS, Dental Amalgam contains about 50% mercury; and

WHEREAS, the State of California recognizes in Proposition 65 that “Dental Amalgam causes exposure to mercury, a chemical know to the State of California to cause birth defects or other reproductive harm” and the State recognizes in the Watson Law that “mercury may harm the developing brain of a child or fetus,”; and

WHEREAS, Amalgam is the second-largest selling mercury product in the United States where more mercury resides in human teeth than in all other mercury products combined; and

WHEREAS, the mercury from dental fillings pollutes our water via dental clinic releases and household waste; and

WHEREAS, the mercury from dental fillings pollutes our air via cremation, clinic emissions and sludge incineration; and

WHEREAS, the mercury from dental fillings pollutes our land via landfills, burials and fertilizer; and

WHEREAS, Amalgam is by far the greatest contributor of mercury to wastewater; and

WHEREAS, Amalgam, once in the environment, converts to methylmercury and contaminates the fish we eat; and

WHEREAS, the environmental health effects of mercury are well established – according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency – mercury in the environment can cause neurological damage, especially to the developing brains and nervous systems of children and fetuses; and

WHEREAS, dental workers, mostly females of childbearing age, are often exposed to mercury in their work environments; and

WHEREAS, many dental consumers, deceived by the term “silver fillings,” are unaware of Amalgam’s mercury content and its resulting environmental impact; and

WHEREAS, interchangeable, modern alternatives to Amalgam exist and are readily available and widely in use.

BE IT RESOLVED, that the City Council opposes the use of Dental Amalgam and hereby requests that State and Federal agencies with the legal authority to eliminate the use of mercury in dental practices take the necessary steps to effect this needed change immediately and;

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the City Council hereby requests that all dental practices located in Costa Mesa voluntarily cease use of Dental Amalgam in advance of State and Federal action and switch to interchangeable, modern alternative filling materials that are already widely in use and;

BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED, that the City Council hereby directs that copies of this resolution be disseminated to the City’s State and Federal representatives and to the other 33 cities in Orange County with a request that they adopt similar resolutions.

PASSED AND ADOPTED this 19th day of October, 2010

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Congratulations, Costa Mesa! You made history as the first US city to take a stand and officially oppose the use of dental mercury.

OC
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