Make No Mistakes About MTHFR and Brain Function

Keep Methylation Central

To understand attention, attention based learning, motivation, pleasure,
and the other functions of the neurotransmitter dopamine,
you have to know something about D4 dopamine receptors.
And critical to the function of dopamine receptors
is the MTHFR C677T gene and enzyme.

4-14

The function of the D4 dopamine receptor
depends upon the cell membrane in which they are embedded.

The membrane surrounding your cell, the plasma or cell membrane,
is represented above by a three dimensional fluid mosaic.
It is composed of a bi-lipid layer,
a double layer of lipid or fat, which has a head at one end.
The lipid is actually phospholipid.

Nerve cells also have a phospholipid cell membrane.
In this depiction, the head is represented
by the red, green, purple and lime green rounded structures.
Anyone who has listened to the Tuesday night calls
has heard me talk about phospholipids at length.

Phosphatidyl serine complex is the important shortcut support
that almost everybody starts out on.
It is a complex of the same phospholipids in the nerve cell wall.

Receptor sites are positioned in the cell membrane.
They are represented by pink lobed molecules
with antenna-like structures projecting out of them.
The antenna-like structures grab the appropriate molecule
for the type of receptor involved and transport it into the cell.

The cell membrane must be fluid. It can’t be rigid.
If it is too rigid,
the molecules in the membrane can’t move or function properly.
They need to be able to move in order to signal appropriately.

Some receptors function by totally inverting into the cell.
They invert and pull the substance into the cell by doing so.
You cannot have a stiff, inflexible cell membrane and do this effectively.
That is what is wrong with trans fats: they are too stiff.

The receptor I am focusing on today is the D4 dopamine receptor.
Dopamine is the neurotransmitter responsible
for attention, motivation, pleasure and reward motivated behavior.
It is an extraordinarily important neurotransmitter
because it is the predominant neurotransmitter in your pre-frontal cortex.

Cognitive behavior is processed in your pre-frontal cortex.
It is where your executive function resides.
It’s the brain power you use to cross the street,
the mental apparatus that you need to make decisions.
It’s the seat of your personality,
the home of all the characteristics that make you you.

The D4 dopamine receptor is responsible for attention
and attention initiated learning.
It operates by inverting into the cell.
A very fluid cell membrane is necessary to do this.
Without this fluidity, you may get a diagnosis
of Attention Deficit Disorder or Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder.

Dopamine activation of the D4 receptor
initiates a cycle of phospholipid methylation.
There is actually a methionine cycle which produces methyl groups
attached to this dopamine receptor.

4-14 methyl group

Depicted above is the bi-lipid layer of the phospholipid cell membrane.
The oval structure is a representation of a receptor site
which is made of protein.

On the left side, there is no phospholipid methylation.
There are no methyl groups
between the heads of the molecules in the membrane.

When there is space made by the methyl groups
between the phospholipid heads,
there is more room for the receptors to be able to move and function.
It is a more fluid membrane.
The protein receptor will be able to move around better
and will be able to signal and react with other proteins more easily.

Inadequate methylation negatively impacts your ability to attend and learn.
The dopamine receptor needs to be able to reconfigure itself.
It needs to be able to invert itself into the cell
and then come back out again.
It is not able to do that if the membrane is inflexible.

Phospholipid methylation, the addition of a methyl group to phospholipids,
reduces the packing density of the membrane
and enhances the activity of embedded, integral membrane proteins
like the D4 receptor.

The D4 receptor has a methylation cycle associated with it.
The activity of this methylation cycle is affected
by the availability of 5 methyl tetrahydrofolate (5 MTHF).
When the level of 5 MTHF is decreased, it becomes a limiting factor.
The receptors wait for a new methyl group to start the activation.
Receptors sitting around waiting for methyl groups
greatly reduces the impact of any dopamine present.
Even very high amounts of dopamine that may be present
will not activate the receptor if there is too little 5 MTHF.

And what determines 5 MTHF availability?
The function of MTHFR gene and the enzyme for which it encodes.
These are critical for an adequate supply of 5 MTHF.
MTHFR 3 is even a more profound genetic down regulation
of enzyme activity than MTHFR C677T.
So proper function of MTHFR or appropriate supplementation
of 5 MTHF are necessary for the function of dopamine
which is critical for good brain function.

My Tuesday night call is your chance to learn what you need to know
to get this important area of your life and biochemistry under control.
I take your questions on many topics,
among them the impact of your personal genetics on your biochemistry.
I discuss how to balance your biochemistry with nutritional supplements
that bypass problem genetics.

It is up to YOU to learn about treating psychiatric
and other chronic illness successfully.

You need to know about
the role of optimizing both methyl group production
and your capacity for methylation.

This is your opportunity.

My Tuesday evening calls are ongoing. They happen every week.
There is no charge to come on this call.
It is a free forum where you can ask your questions.
It’s a great way to clear up confusion,
overcome the obstacles you may be having,
and get on the path to wellness.

The time: Tuesday at 5:00 PM Pacific Time
(8:00 PM Eastern, 7:00 PM Central, 6:00 PM Mountain)
The number to call in the US: (559) 726-1300
The access code: 986935#

International access numbers are available.
Join us to inform yourself so that you can be proactive about your health!

So excellent!
I literally learn something on every single call
and I get clarification on things that have been lingering in my mind…
VB

You are giving people a huge gift by empowering them…
It’s about helping the patient become their own healer
by taking them to a higher level of consciousness…
AL

Thank you so much Dr. Mullan.
Thank you so, so much for everything you do.
MS

Wow! I have to tell you, this was such an uplifting call.
It’s so nice to hear good news especially about a child.
Anxiety, OCD and a host of other mental/psychiatric symptoms
have been a huge hurdle for me.
So to hear this story of all those awful symptoms
totally going away is such a bright light for me!!!!
TR

JOIN US TONIGHT!

Nancy Mullan MD
Author, lecturer, clinician
Dr. Nancy Mullan is best known for her natural treatment of chronic illness,
including Autism Spectrum Disorders, Lyme and MTHFR+.

2829 Burbank Blvd., Suite 202, Burbank, CA 91505
T: (818) 954-9267 – F: (818) 954-0620
NancyMullanMD@aol.com
www.NancyMullanMD.com

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The Tale of Two Mice…

Keep Methylation Central

I am Dr. Nancy Mullan.

I help people with chronic disorders
who are open to working with dietary change
and genetics based nutritional supplementation,
who want to go back to developing their lives
as opposed to dealing with illness,
and who want new clarity, focus and energy
and the enhanced life style that they bring.

It is undisputed scientific fact
that your genetics predispose you to many chronic illnesses,
including Lyme Disease and mold toxicity,
schizophrenia and bipolar, among others.

It is also true that the intracellular environment surrounding your DNA
can either help repair problems in the DNA structure,
or make those problems worse.
This happens because of what are called ‘epigenetic’ changes.
These are changes in the expression of the gene
because of what is ‘epi’ or around the gene.

It is only common sense
that different substances in the environment surrounding the gene itself
might make the gene express differently.
Methyl groups are one of the substances that can impact genes this way.
They are primary epigenetic modifiers of DNA.
Methyl groups are made of one carbon and three hydrogen molecules.
They attach to and repair some of the deficits in the DNA.

What is astonishing is
that these epigenetic changes can be inherited!
Just as the DNA in the gene is inherited,
the pattern of epigenetic change in the gene can be passed down also.
The DNA is inherited irreversibly,
the epigenetic change is inherited reversibly,
so you are not absolutely stuck with what came down to you…

4-7 The Tale of Two Mice...

The two mice above are genetically identical,
but their mothers were fed differently
That is what is responsible for their differences…
The obese white mouse on the left had a mother
who was fed regular mouse rations.
The smaller brown mouse on the right is more normal.
His mother was fed a diet with added B12, folic acid and methyl donors.
B12 and folic acid enhance methyl group formation.

There is an e book on www.NancyMullanMD.com called
The Methyl Group: What It Can Do for You,
Plus Three Mistakes Not to Make with MTHFR

It goes into these issues more
and includes a description of which genes specifically
impact methyl group production.
This is important information
if your body is not functioning properly.

My Tuesday evening calls are ongoing. They happen every week.
There is no charge to come on this call.
It is a free forum where you can ask your questions.
I am there to help you.

It’s a great way to answer your most pressing questions,
clear up confusion,
overcome the obstacles you may be having,
and get on the path to wellness.

The time: Tuesday at 5:00 PM Pacific Time
(8:00 PM Eastern, 7:00 PM Central, 6:00 PM Mountain)
The number to call in the US: (559) 726-1300
The access code: 986935#

International access numbers are available.
Join us to inform yourself so that you can be proactive about your health!

So excellent!
I literally learn something on every single call
and I get clarification on things that have been lingering in my mind…
VB

You are giving people a huge gift by empowering them…
It’s about helping the patient become their own healer
by taking them to a higher level of consciousness…
AL

Thank you so much Dr. Mullan.
Thank you so, so much for everything you do.
MS

Wow! I have to tell you, this was such an uplifting call.
It’s so nice to hear good news especially about a child.
Anxiety, OCD and a host of other mental/psychiatric symptoms
have been a huge hurdle for me.
So to hear this story of all those awful symptoms
totally going away is such a bright light for me!!!!
TR

JOIN US TONIGHT!

Nancy Mullan MD
Author, lecturer, clinician
Dr. Nancy Mullan is best known for her natural treatment of chronic illness,
including Autism Spectrum Disorders, Lyme and MTHFR+.

2829 Burbank Blvd., Suite 202, Burbank, CA 91505
T: (818) 954-9267 – F: (818) 954-0620
NancyMullanMD@aol.com
www.NancyMullanMD.com

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

How long and how many times have you been on Antibiotics???

When a practitioner makes the diagnosis of Lyme Disease,
the standard practice is to put you on antibiotics.

This may help some of you.

If you are lucky and the infection is recent,
you may get improvement right away and walk away.

If you are less lucky, the antibiotics go on longer,
and you do less well with them.

If you are not lucky at all,
the antibiotics go on and on and on and on…
and so does the Lyme Disease.

Many people with chronic illness are MTHFR+.
Your practitioner tells you to test for MTHFR and you do it.
If it comes back positive,
he gives you immoderate doses of methyl donors.
This may help
or it may put you on the methyl group roller coaster,
and flat out make you worse.

So by now, the villi in your gastrointestinal tract have been reduced
to something that looks like the surface of the moon.
You are not absorbing amino acids: they take enzymes to absorb.
Enzymes are produced by the villi and the brush border in your GI tract,
but they have all been destroyed by over administration of antibiotics.
And the methyl groups in your body have been totally unbalanced
by immoderate, undiscriminating administration.
This is a mess.

Think about this:
think about optimizing the function of your immune system
to get rid of Lyme by optimizing the function
of the pathway that makes methyl groups.
Do not just pound yourself with antibiotics and methyl donors.
Doesn’t this sound like a more logical approach?

I wrote about this and other issues in the free methyl group e book
you can find on my web site ay
www.NancyMullanMD.com.
It explains why methyl groups are so important for immune function
and what you need to do to help your body produce them.

I have warned you many times about the problems involved
with the current treatments for Lyme and chronic illness.

Read before you start pounding your GI tract with antibiotics
and indiscriminately take methyl donors.
You really can end up in worse shape.

At least come to understand the issues and concerns
surrounding these treatments.
You could save yourself some time and heartache.
Read the e book and then come on the Mastermind Program.
Ask me questions about this.
I’ll explain the issues very carefully.

The Mastermind Program is happening again this Tuesday.
Come on the call to ask your questions and access information,
not just information about genes but about all kinds of topics.

The time: Tuesday at 5:00 PM Pacific Time
(8:00 PM Eastern, 7:00 PM Central, 6:00 PM Mountain)
The number to call in the US: (559) 726-1300
The access code: 986935#

Talk to you Tuesday Night!
International access numbers are available.
Join us to inform yourself so that you can be proactive about your health!

So excellent!
I literally learn something on every single call
and I get clarification on things that have been lingering in my mind…
VB

You are giving people a huge gift by empowering them…
It’s about helping the patient become their own healer
by taking them to a higher level of consciousness…
AL

Thank you so much Dr. Mullan.
Thank you so, so much for everything you do.
MS

Wow! I have to tell you, this was such an uplifting call.
It’s so nice to hear good news especially about a child.
Anxiety, OCD and a host of other mental/psychiatric symptoms
have been a huge hurdle for me.
So to hear this story of all those awful symptoms
totally going away is such a bright light for me!!!!
TR

JOIN US ON TUESDAY NIGHT!

Nancy Mullan MD
Author, lecturer, clinician
Dr. Nancy Mullan is best known for her natural treatment of chronic illness,
including Psychiatric Disorders, Autism Spectrum Disorders, Lyme and MTHFR+.
2829 Burbank Blvd., Suite 202, Burbank, CA 91505
T: (818) 954-9267 – F: (818) 954-0620

NancyMullanMD@aol.com
www.NancyMullanMD.com
http://chronicdiseasetalk.wordpress.com/
http://chronicdiseaserecovery.wordpress.com/

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Get Off the Practitioner Merry-Go-Round

You may know the practitioner merry-go-round…
You go around and around with a practitioner,
and in the end you get off where you started,
less some money….

Your practitioner tells you to test for MTHFR and you do it.
It comes back positive… they give you huge doses of methyl donors.
This may help, or it may help for a little while,
or it can flat out make you worse.

Then they tell you they do not know anything more to do,
and you are off to another practitioner who says they do.

Weeks or months later you are not much better.
You get diagnosed with a bunch of things,
but you do not get much better from them either.
You find out that the only gene they know is MTHFR…
so you are off to another person who says they know more genes.

Well, maybe they knew about more genes,
but they didn’t know how to get you well.
And then you hear about Dr Amy Yasko’s work,
you hear about the whole Methylation Pathway,
how it operates in a balanced fashion,
and how you have to take into consideration
ALL OF THE GENES IN THE PATHWAY TO GET IT TO FUNCTION.

I wrote about this in the free e book on my web site
www.NancyMullanMD.com.
It explains why methyl groups are so important
and what you need to do to help your body produce them.

I have warned you many times about this problem.
Read before you just start putting in methyl donors,
activating only part of the methyl group production pathway
and knowing about only one or two of all the genes involved.

This pathway needs to be activated in a balanced fashion
in order to work well, or even work at all.

At least come to understand the issues and concerns 
You could save yourself some time and heartache.
Read the e book and then come on the Mastermind Program.
Ask me questions about this.
I’ll explain the issues very carefully.

The Mastermind Program is happening again this Tuesday.
Come on the call to ask your questions and access information,
not just information about genes but about all kinds of topics.

The time: Tuesday at 5:00 PM Pacific Time
(8:00 PM Eastern, 7:00 PM Central, 6:00 PM Mountain)
The number to call in the US: (559) 726-1300
The access code: 986935#

Talk to you Tuesday Night!
International access numbers are available.
Join us to inform yourself so that you can be proactive about your health!

So excellent!
I literally learn something on every single call
and I get clarification on things that have been lingering in my mind…
VB

You are giving people a huge gift by empowering them…
It’s about helping the patient become their own healer
by taking them to a higher level of consciousness…
AL

Thank you so much Dr. Mullan.
Thank you so, so much for everything you do.
MS

Wow! I have to tell you, this was such an uplifting call.
It’s so nice to hear good news especially about a child.
Anxiety, OCD and a host of other mental/psychiatric symptoms
have been a huge hurdle for me.
So to hear this story of all those awful symptoms
totally going away is such a bright light for me!!!!
TR

JOIN US ON TUESDAY NIGHT!

Nancy Mullan MD
Author, lecturer, clinician
Dr. Nancy Mullan is best known for her natural treatment of chronic illness,
including Psychiatric Disorders, Autism Spectrum Disorders, Lyme and MTHFR+.
2829 Burbank Blvd., Suite 202, Burbank, CA 91505
T: (818) 954-9267 – F: (818) 954-0620

NancyMullanMD@aol.com
www.NancyMullanMD.com
http://chronicdiseasetalk.wordpress.com/
http://chronicdiseaserecovery.wordpress.com/

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

New Autism Definition Will Decrease Diagnosis By One-Third

The rates of autism have increased approximately 1000% since the 1980s. Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) describes the cluster of neurodevelopmental disorders as defined by American Psychiatric Association’s (APA) Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders. Officially, there are now 1 in 88 children in the United States who have ASD. Boys are almost five times more likely to be autistic than girls — with 1 in 54 boys now identified. To curb the rates at which children will be identified with the illness in the future, new guidelines issued by the APA will reduce by almost one third the total number of those diagnosed, according to new research from Columbia University School of Nursing published in the Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders.

autismDSM-1

The guidelines, released in May 2013 and the first major update to psychiatric diagnosis criteria in almost two decades, may leave thousands of developmentally delayed children each year without the ASD diagnosis they need to qualify for social services, medical benefits and educational support.

A team led by Kristine M. Kulage, MA, MPH, director of the Office of Scholarship and Research Development at Columbia Nursing, conducted a systematic literature review and meta-analysis to determine the effect of changes to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM), the APA’s classification tool for psychiatric conditions, on diagnosis of individuals with ASD.

Due to the need for adequate returns on costly advertising campaigns, the DSM has been strongly criticized for medicalize “normal human experiences.” Intermittent explosive disorder, oppositional defiant disorder, mathematics disorder are arguably some of the stranger diagnoses floating around in the medical literature. And although ridiculous to any sane person, many medical professionals say that these disorders are legitimate conditions that often warrant treatment on behalf of Big Pharma’s effort to control diagnoses.

New Guideline Decreases ASD by 31 Percent

The study found a statistically significant decrease in ASD diagnosis of 31 percent using the new manual, DSM-5, compared with the number of cases of ASD that would have been identified under the previous version of the manual, DSM-IV-TR.

“This study raises a concern that a medical provider diagnosing a child under the new guidelines won’t find the child to be on the autism spectrum, when the same child under the old criteria might have been diagnosed with ASD,” says Kulage.

The old manual, DSM-IV-TR, included three distinct subgroups under the broad definition of ASD: autistic disorder (AD), Asperger’s disorder, and pervasive development disorder-not otherwise specified (PDD-NOS). The revised manual, DSM-5, eliminates these subgroups, instead establishing a more limited range of criteria for a diagnosis of ASD that is designed to encompass individuals who previously would have fallen into one of the subgroups. The DSM-5 also added a new category called social communication disorder (SCD) to diagnose individuals who have verbal and nonverbal communication impairments but lack other attributes associated with autism. Some individuals diagnosed with PDD-NOS under the old manual would be identified as individuals with SCD under DSM-5, according to the APA.

Under DSM-5, there was a statistically significant decrease in AD diagnosis of 22 percent, compared with the fourth edition of the manual, the meta-analysis found. There was also a statistically significant decrease of 70 percent in diagnosis of PDD-NOS. While diagnosis of Asperger’s also declined under DSM-5, the reduction was not statistically significant. In addition, the study found that some individuals who no longer met the criteria for an ASD diagnosis under DSM-5 would also fail to meet the criteria for SCD.

“We are potentially going to lose diagnosis and treatment for some of the most vulnerable kids who have developmental delays,” says Kulage. “In many instances, children require a diagnosis of ASD to receive medical benefits, educational support and social services.”

A vaccine industry watchdog has recently obtained CDC documents that show statistically significant risks of autism associated with the vaccine preservative thimerosal, something the CDC denies even when confronted with their own data. Ironically the first-ever vaccine created by University of Guelph researchers to control autistic symptoms was announced last year.

People with ASD tend to have difficulties with communication, misread nonverbal interactions, and have difficulty making friends. They may also be heavily reliant on routines, extremely sensitive to changes in their environment, and intensely focused on interests not appropriate to the social context they are in. Symptoms fall on a continuum, with variation in severity, and early diagnosis and access to treatment have been proven to result in better outcomes.

Far too many medical professionals swiftly encourage the route of standard (yet outdated) medications for autism and ignore the abundance of science and research that currently supports effective recovery protocols.

The paper is titled: “How Will DSM-5 Affect Autism Diagnosis? A Systematic Literature Review and Meta-analysis” and it appeared in the February 2014 issue of the Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders. Other contributors are: from Columbia Nursing, Arlene Smaldone, PhD, CPNP, associate professor and assistant dean, scholarship and research, and Elizabeth Cohn, PhD, RN, assistant professor and Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Nurse Faculty Scholar. Kulage completed the research while enrolled in a master’s degree program at Joseph P. Mailman School of Public Health.

Dave Mihalovic is a Naturopathic Doctor who specializes in vaccine research, cancer prevention and a natural approach to treatment.

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Riding for a Fall…

You need to know and treat the whole methylation pathway…
Otherwise you are riding for a fall.

 I used to hear this expression all the time from Mark Smith.
He’s gone now, but not from my mind.
He taught me how to ride a horse right here in Burbank,
right in the shadows of the hills and the studios
where most of those first Western cowboy films were made..

He did stunt riding for many films.
In fact, he was the stunt rider who rode for the fall that killed
Scarlett O’ Hara and Rhett Butler’s little girl in the movie.
Gone with the Wind.

I used to hear it all the time: ‘You’re riding for a fall, cowgirl…’
and I would quit whatever it was I was doing.
I never thought of myself as a cowgirl,
but he called everybody a cowgirl or cowboy.
He was from Texas.

So now I am telling you:
If you are mainly a well person,
you may get improvement from treating just MTHFR.

But if you are mostly sick, you will not succeed,
and you may be riding for a fall
if your doctor does not know and does not treat
the whole methylation pathway.

You may think that it is expensive to consult
knowledgeable clinicians in this area,
but there is nothing more expensive than using time and money
to get nowhere in the end.
And you could even get sicker….

Caveat emptor: I have warned you many times about this.
Read before you just start putting in methyl donors,
activating only part of the methyl group production pathway
and knowing about only one or two of all the genes involved.

This pathway needs to be activated in a balanced fashion
in order to work well, or even work at all.

At least come to understand the issues and concerns
You could save yourself some heartache.
Come on the Mastermind Program.
Ask me questions about this.
I’ll explain the issues very carefully.

My Mastermind Program is happening again this Tuesday.
Come on the call to ask your questions and access information,
not just information about genes but about all kinds of topics.

The time: Tuesday at 5:00 PM Pacific Time
(8:00 PM Eastern, 7:00 PM Central, 6:00 PM Mountain)
The number to call in the US: (559) 726-1300
The access code: 986935#

Talk to you Tuesday Night!
International access numbers are available.
Join us to inform yourself so that you can be proactive about your health!

So excellent!
I literally learn something on every single call
and I get clarification on things that have been lingering in my mind…
VB

You are giving people a huge gift by empowering them…
It’s about helping the patient become their own healer
by taking them to a higher level of consciousness…
AL

Thank you so much Dr. Mullan.
Thank you so, so much for everything you do.
MS

Wow! I have to tell you, this was such an uplifting call.
It’s so nice to hear good news especially about a child.
Anxiety, OCD and a host of other mental/psychiatric symptoms
have been a huge hurdle for me.
So to hear this story of all those awful symptoms
totally going away is such a bright light for me!!!!
TR

JOIN US ON TUESDAY NIGHT!

Nancy Mullan MD
Author, lecturer, clinician
Dr. Nancy Mullan is best known for her natural treatment of chronic illness,
including Psychiatric Disorders, Autism Spectrum Disorders, Lyme and MTHFR+.

2829 Burbank Blvd., Suite 202, Burbank, CA 91505
T: (818) 954-9267 – F: (818) 954-0620
NancyMullanMD@aol.com
www.NancyMullanMD.com

http://chronicdiseasetalk.wordpress.com/
http://chronicdiseaserecovery.wordpress.com/

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Dentists Targeted for Recklessly Polluting Water with Mercury Waste

By Dr. Mercola

Did you know that dentist offices are the largest source of mercury in wastewater entering publicly-owned treatment works?

Once there, dental mercury converts to methylmercury, a highly toxic form of mercury known to be hazardous to brain and nervous system function, particularly in fetuses and young children.

Mercury is extremely tenacious once in the air, water, and soil; levels gradually increase over time, as it accumulates. It’s no wonder then that contaminated fish and other seafood are the largest dietary source of mercury in the US, courtesy of polluted waterways.

In 2010, the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced it would create a rule requiring dentists who use dental amalgam to conduct best management practices and install amalgam separators.

An amalgam separator is a wastewater treatment device installed at the source, in the dental office, that removes 95-99 percent of the mercury in the wastewater. As originally proposed, EPA said the regulation would be finalized by 2012.1 Such a rule would be a step toward making dentists accountable for future environmental damage caused by their archaic pro-amalgam stance.

Amalgam is primitive polluting pre-Civil War product, one that’s the invasive process of damaging and removing good tooth matter. The alternatives are minimally-invasive, requiring no such draconian process. Plainly, 21st-century dentistry is mercury-free dentistry.

Why Is the EPA’s Mercury Rule at a Stand-Still?

It appeared in 2010 that EPA would move forward to draft a rule, but in fact the rule continues to suffer from a long string of delays and excuses for not being brought forth.

At least 11 states—including Massachusetts, Connecticut, Maine, New Hampshire, Washington, Vermont, New York, Rhode Island, New Jersey, Oregon, and Michigan—require dentists to use amalgam separators to reduce mercury discharges. There, the system works fine; it does not raise the cost of dental care, but it does lower environmental pollution.

Do pro-mercury dentists in the other 39 states buy separators? Hardly. If they are putting mercury into children’s mouths, and calling them silver fillings, why would they act responsibly toward the environment?

That’s why we need a ruling by the EPA — to apply to all states and territories.

Even the otherwise pro-mercury American Dental Association (ADA) amended its best management practices (BMPs) in 2007 to endorse amalgam separators as an effective tool to reduce mercury discharges in dental offices in November 2013, the US government became the first country to both sign and accept the United Nations Minamata Convention on Mercury, which covers dental amalgam. (The ADA actually fought hard to keep amalgam out of Annex C, the part of the treaty that will be regularly reviewed and can be easily amended, but they didn’t succeed. The Convention thus has a path to a full amalgam phase-out, a point well-known to both sides).

Internal documents now reveal that EPA will announce it has no intention of ever proposing its amalgam rule. This abandonment of the public trust has ADA footprints all over it… Thus:

  1. You, and other members of the public, will not have the chance to comment on the EPA’s mercury rule
  2. Dentists will not be held accountable for their mercury dumping
  3. Our children will suffer the consequences

Tell EPA to Release Its Mercury Amalgam Rule!

This is unconscionable. Charlie Brown and Consumers for Dental Choice have created a petition demanding the EPA immediately release its mercury amalgam rule for public comment. I hope you will take a moment to sign this petition right now.

Abandoning the long-promised separator rule is a horrid decision. It hands American dentists carte blanche to pollute without accountability, passing the costs onto not only taxpayers to clean it up, but to families whose children are affected by dental mercury in the water (and hence fish), air (via cremation), and soil (and hence, our vegetables).

Furthermore, based on the EPA’s promise to act, the environmental protection community stopped pushing for individual state mandates, of which there were about a dozen in the works. By backing off and relying on the EPA to move forward, years have been wasted waiting for what might never happen.

Just what kind of message is the US sending to the international community when, just 90 days after being the first to accept the Minamata Convention, it tosses in the towel and reneges on a four-year old promise to address dental mercury wastewater pollution?

Indiana Department of Environmental Management Calls for Action Against Polluting Dentists

According to the featured article,2 the Indiana Department of Environmental Management sent a letter to the city of Elkhart on December 31, 2013, alerting it to mercury levels in its treatment plant exceeding the allowable limit of 1.6 nanograms per liter (ng/L). The limit had been exceeded in June, August, and October that year. The highest reading measured in at 4.4 ng/L. As reported in the article:

“Laura Kolo, utility services manager for the Elkhart public Works and Utilities Department, said the city must act on the violation… and will focus on dentists’ offices because Elkhart doesn’t have any industrial operations that could be behind the mercury. She noted in a response letter to IDEM that a 2002 report had found dental clinics are the primary source of mercury emissions at public wastewater treatment plants.”

Kolo estimates the draft for a voluntary amalgam separator program in Elkhart will be finished by late June. If program compliance ends up being low, the program could become mandatory.

Today, dentists make a higher income than physicians. The cost to them of a separator? About what they make in a single chair in a single day.

Dental Amalgam Is the Leading Intentional Use of Mercury in US

Dental amalgam, a tooth filling material that is 50 percent mercury, is the leading intentional use of mercury in the US (this despite the fact that 52 percent of American dentists have stopped using amalgams). Dental offices generate a variety of amalgam waste3 that gets flushed down the drain, unless dentists implement best management practices and dentists install and properly maintain amalgam separators. Such practices will collect:

      • Scrap amalgam
      • Used, leaking, or unusable amalgam capsules
      • Amalgam captured in chairside traps and vacuum pump screens
      • “Contact amalgam,” including teeth with amalgam restorations

There’s a growing global consensus that dental amalgams is a considerable source of environmental mercury pollution. Several studies show that about 50 percent of the mercury entering municipal wastewater treatment plants can be traced back to dental amalgam waste.

This mercury waste amounts to about 3.7 TONS each year! An estimated 90 percent is captured by the treatment plants generally via sewage sludge4 — some of which ends up in landfills, while other portions are incinerated (thereby pollution the air) or applied as agricultural fertilizer (polluting your food), or seep into waterways (polluting fish and wildlife).

Amalgam is far more costly for taxpayers than the alternative tooth-colored material, when the external costs to the environment and society are factored in. A recent study details how society pays for dental mercury through additional pollution control costs, deterioration of public resources, and the health effects associated with mercury. It shows that when these costs are considered, amalgam is more costly than composite as a filling material, by at least $41 more per filling.5

So EPA inaction means our government is enriching the dentists who use amalgam in the 39 states that don’t require separators. The polluter does not pay. With costs lower, it is more profitable to place mercury amalgam — and amalgam use will grow, not shrink. More American children, not fewer, will receive mercury in their mouths because our government takes sides — in favor of the polluters.

One would think EPA would look kindly toward dentists who do not use mercury, who are not creating a toxic workplace, who are not dumping mercury into the environment, and most of all are not putting mercury into their patients’ teeth.

dental fillings infographic

Discover interesting facts about avocado, including its uses and benefits, through the infographic “Mercury Dental Fillings: By the Numbers“.

A Call to Action

Why should we be forced to pay when irresponsible dentists who still use mercury could easily and relatively inexpensively install amalgam separators, which catch most of the mercury before it goes down the drain? At present, the EPA is letting them get away with it, and it’s high time for that to change.

I urge you to take a stand with us and tell the EPA not to let polluting dentists off the hook: It’s time to stop dental mercury dumping.

The mystery here is the position of EPA Administrator, Gina McCarthy. A few years ago, she was the hard-charging environmental commissioner in Connecticut, and before that a deputy in Massachusetts. Back in her days in state government, she clamped down on dentists, requiring not only separators, but posted disclosures in dental offices advising parents and consumers that amalgam is mainly mercury, that it is a health risk, and that alternatives are available. But now the question for the new EPA Administrator is, will she do what she believes it right, based on her experience as a state regular, or will she succumb to the inside game in Washington? With your help maybe McCarthy will return to being as tough on dental mercury — as she when posted in Hartford and Boston. To learn more about dental mercury and its risks, as well as keep abreast of the latest news on the EPA’s mercury rule, please see the following sources:

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