Mercury is a known neurotoxin and Maine has passed several laws to get mercury out of many products. It's no longer legal to use mercury in a thermometer, but you can now put the same amount of mercury in someone's mouth.
Thankfully fewer Maine dentists are using amalgam fillings which are 50% mercury, but we know there are still about 1/5 of dentists taking MaineCare who do use these fillings.
It's clear that MaineCare has not kept up with the changes in modern dentistry. The rest of us, increasingly, get mercury free dentistry, or at least a clear choice. Sadly, too many people are not even being told that amalgam has mercury, let alone given the legal choice they have for dental fillings, as evidenced by 5 personal testimonies on this bill. LDA feels that is unacceptable and we hope you agree. If you had amalgam dental fillings placed since 2002 in Maine and weren't told that the filling had mercury, please email me.
This bill puts MaineCare parents and patients on equal footing with the rest of us.
While our opponents can debate whether mercury fillings and the vapor they release have health affects for the average person, there is no doubt that amalgam is now one of the largest uses of mercury in a product or medical device. Over 200 tons of mercury are used in these dental fillings every year, and several tons of this mercury gets into our environment and our food including the fish we eat.
The LD 1161 minority report would require dentists to get an informed consent before using mercury fillings. A primary care doctor has to get a consent to freeze a wart or do other basic, simple procedures. This is not burdensome. In fact, it is standard procedure to protect patients and ensure informed consent. LD 1161 minority report is a reasonable compromise and ensures patients have the information they need to make an informed decision.
Please contact your legislators now and tell vote ought to pass for LD 1161 Minority Report.
If you are also willing to call legislators, you can look up your legislators and it will show their home numbers you can call. If you prefer to leave a message at the State House, you can call 1-800-423-2900 for Representatives or 1-800-423-6900 for Senators. The message to them is simple: Vote for LD 1161, the minority report.
Learning Disabilities Association of Maine