Friday, December 10, 2010

My Contribution to the Costa Mesa City Council Meeting, October 19, 2010

Good evening, Honorable Council of Costa Mesa. My name is Kristin Mills, and I am a local Naturopath.

Mercury is one of the most common causes of chronic health problems:
• chronic fatigue
• depression
• Multiple Sclerosis
• lupus
• Rheumatoid Arthritis
• cardiovascular problems
• autism
• learning disabilities
• Alzheimer's
and other neurological and immune conditions.

Dentistry is the largest user of mercury in the US, using 45 tons per year.

Dental amalgam pollution does not distinguish between
health and the environment.

Greater than 20% of the US population tested for mercury showed levels classified as dangerous.

The EPA states that 3.7 tons of mercury is discharged from dental offices each year, as it is flushed into chair-side drains, entering wastewater systems, and making its way into the environment -- rivers, lakes, bays, and oceans.

Mercury dental amalgams are also present in processes of incineration, land application of sewage sludge and landfills.

All sewer plants in the US have high levels of mercury and all sewer sludge has dangerous levels of mercury -- generally 1-3 ppm (parts per million).

The level of mercury in all sewer plants in the US exceeds the US EPA proposed mercury limit.

Those with four or more amalgams violate EPA standards every time they spit in a sink.

Crematoria emissions commonly violate EPA air emission standards.

Crops grown on land using sewer sludge pick up high levels of mercury.

The US Geological Survey's report on Mercury Contamination of Aquatic ecosystems state that this issue was established in the 1950's: "...emissions of mercury to the environment could have serious effects on human health."

Mercury becomes a toxicological problem as it undergoes bioaccumulation --- the process by which organisms, including humans, take up contaminants more rapidly than their bodies can eliminate them.

Mercury is biomagnified from the bottom to the top of the food chain. Even at very low rates, biomagnification effects can result in mercury levels of toxicological concern. The biomagnifcation effect compounds the longer an organism lives. Predatory fish have the highest mercury levels. Adding to this problem is the fact that mercury concentrates in the muscle tissue of the fish, and cannot be filleted or cooked out.

Given size and life-span -- compare this effect on fish to that on humans.

Methylmercury effects the central nervous system (CNS), and in severe cases, irreversibly damages areas of the brain.

All forms of mercury are toxic to humans, but methylmercury is especially of concern.

Mercury has a deleterious impact on our air, water, food source, and human health. We've established there is no distinction between health and the environment. Therefore, it is responsible to ban mercury dental amalgam.

We appreciate your responsible and forward thinking by signing the "Monahan Resolution".

Costa Mesa, California
October 19, 2010

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