The toxic metal that could be part of your everyday existence

The EPA is very concerned about mercury exposure — especially for kids.

In fact, it has an entire mini-website devoted to the issue.

Its goal is for us to have as little exposure to this toxic substance as possible.

So to go along with that program, back a couple of decades ago, it started reviewing very old drugs that contain mercury.

One was mercurochrome. I’m sure you remember those little bottles of red liquid with the stick applicator attached to the cap. It was the first choice of moms everywhere for cuts and scrapes.

But mercurochrome contains mercury, and the EPA got it off of store shelves by taking away its “GRAS,” or generally recognized as safe listing. So now anyone who wants to sell it would need to get it approved the same as if it was a brand new drug.

Thanks, EPA, for protecting us against the dangers of mercury!

But what about that other place you’ll find lots of mercury? I don’t mean on a knee cut, but right inside your mouth. And your kids’ and grandkids’ mouths, too.

Those silver fillings called amalgams are 50 percent mercury!

So what does the EPA have to say about that?

It says that when these amalgam fillings are put in or taken out of your mouth, they release a “small amount of mercury vapor.” AND every time you chew, they release more mercury vapors!

The EPA says you absorb those vapors “by inhaling or ingesting them.”

And its conclusion about this? Amalgam is “considered to be a safe, sound, and effective treatment for tooth decay.”

So that little dab of mercurochrome was too dangerous to risk. But every single day, millions and millions of us are “inhaling” mercury from our fillings.

And the EPA calls that “safe.”

Sources:

“Mercury in dental amalgam” US EPA, epa.gov

“What happened to mercurochrome?” The Straight Dope, straightdope.com