Injured Consumer: Freya Koss
MS. FREYA KOSS: Good morning. Thank you for allowing us to be here, Dr. Shuren. I am one of millions of Americans who have suffered grave health consequences as a result of mercury poisoning from my dental fillings. My name is Freya Koss. I am a director of the Pennsylvania Coalition For Mercury Free Dentistry, and I’m here to express my deep concern about FDA’s continued suppression of the scientific evidence supporting the serious health effects of mercury dental fillings.
In 1998, I was suddenly struck with double vision, drooping eyelids and loss of equilibrium and many other neurological effects. I would like to show you, if you haven’t seen this yet. This is what I looked like seven days after I had an amalgam filling placed. That was in 1998.
Four years later, after amalgam removal and a treatment of detoxification, that’s what I look like. As you can see, I look like I was hit by a Mack Truck. I looked like that for four years.
Based on my symptoms, five neurologists diagnosed me with either lupus, multiple sclerosis, which you’ve heard from several other people today, or myasthenia gravis. In the end, I had myasthenia gravis from mercury fillings.
Not one of these doctors considered that my symptoms were or could have been from dental fillings. That’s a real problem in medicine today. They don’t look at mercury as a possible cause for any autoimmune disease or neurological problem. According to them, there was no known etiology cause of any of these diseases and no hope that I would get better. In fact, a neurologist at University of Pennsylvania Hospital told me that I better get used to being sick because I was going to be sick for the rest of my life.
I rejected those diagnoses, and if I hadn’t done my own homework, I wouldn’t be here today to tell you the story. At the time I was unaware that silver-colored fillings were actually 50 percent mercury, a known neuro toxin. If I had been advised by my dentist that a silver filling was mercury, I never would have allowed that filling to be placed in my teeth and I certainly wouldn’t have allowed mercury fillings to be placed in my children’s teeth, but I did.
The warnings listed in the material safety data sheet for dental amalgam only seen by the dentists, never the patient, are frightening. For example, mercury is a pulmonary sensitizer, a neurotoxin, and amalgams are contraindicated for patients with kidney insufficiency, in children under six, and expectant women. Parents and expectant women are not told that there is mercury in a silver filling. They sit in that chair and they get those mercury fillings, and they never see those warnings on the material safety data sheet that the dentist sees. I ask you, Dr. Shuren, how is it that FDA continues to officially endorse this toxic product as safe and effective with no risks?
Would you condone that filling for your children?
The very scientists hand picked by FDA in 2006 and 2010 to evaluate the risks of amalgam have told FDA that mercury doesn’t belong in the teeth of children or pregnant women. The same scientists recommended labelling amalgam as mercury, not silver. Yet, FDA remains static, taking no steps to educate parents or protect children.
In March 2011, the U.S. State Department endorsed a phase out of mercury fillings, asking all governments of the world to protect children and fetuses from mercury. The Scandinavian countries banned amalgam in 2009. Canada issued mercury amalgam warnings for children and pregnant women in 1996. Considering the removal of mercury from pet and childhood vaccines, contact lens solution, Mercurochrome, thermometers, thermostats, car switches, and blood pressure machines.
When will FDA remove mercury from amalgam dental fillings? If you continue to dally, Dr. Shuren, the children of America will remain guinea pigs in having their health sacrificed to protect the faction of dentistry that clings to this pre Civil War primitive product.
My hope is that you will hear us loud and clear, that you will acknowledge the science, and that you will do what’s necessary to protect our future generations by banning the use of mercury in dentistry.
Director of the Pennsylvania Coalition For Mercury Free Dentistry