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Mercury Conference Confronts Contentious Topics

Published: Monday, May 27, 2013
Last Updated: Monday, May 27, 2013
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Panel session will explore topical public concerns about mercury and health.

One of the panel sessions at the ‘Mercury 2013’ International Conference in Edinburgh (28th July - 2nd Aug) “will be highly contentious and should result in a heated debate,” says Prof. K. Clive Thompson who will be chairing the session with Eric Uram from SafeMinds.

Taking place on Tuesday 30th July at the Edinburgh International Conference Centre, the panel session will explore topical public concerns about mercury and health.

Experts in this field will discuss the toxicological significance of mercury exposure from dental amalgams, vaccines and fish consumption for vulnerable groups, and will debate whether current concerns are scientifically justified.

The continued use of thiomersal to preserve vaccines is the subject of much debate. It has been used for over 80 years and some passionately believe that it causes harm to the newly born (e.g. Autism) when used in certain vaccines, whilst others would dispute this.

The recent 32 deaths from the tragic fungal meningitis outbreak associated with compounded methylprednisolone acetate (MPA), a steroid injectable product, highlights a potential risk from not using a suitable preservative in vaccines (see

The benefits of eating a diet high in oily fish will be weighed against the risk from ingesting elevated amounts of methyl mercury. A large number of comprehensive studies has been carried out and to-date there is no agreed consensus.

Finally, the panel will discuss whether mercury amalgam fillings cause harm. Alternative, tooth-colored materials are being used to replace mercury amalgam fillings. These vary in composition and properties, and include composites, cements, and sealants.

The panel will examine the degree of assessment that has been undertaken on these replacement fillings, and whether mercury fillings should be withdrawn.

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