Mercury Fillings Caused Autism, Family Claims
by Erin Carroll,
Daily Journal Staff Writer
Los Angeles Daily Journal
Vol. 115 #55 March 21, 2003
A Burbank family has sued the American Dental Association and 29 other dental corporations, claiming that they concealed the dangers of mercury in dental fillings, a toxin the family believes contributed to their child’s autism.
In the suit, lawyers for Kathy Galeano allege that her nine amalgam fillings released enough mercury into her system during her pregnancy to help cause her son, Daniel, now 5, to develop severe autism.
While lawsuits have been filed alleging a link between mercury in pediatric vaccines and autism, plaintiffs’ lawyer Shawn Kherami of Van Nuys believes this is the dental fillings. Galeano v. American Dental Association, BC270306 (L.A. Superior Court, filed March 20, 2003).
Khorrami says that the metal’s link to autism has been documented and that despite mercury’s known dangers, the dental profession continues to use it in fillings. “While every other industry in the world has stepped away from mercury, you have dentistry, the only industry that has embraced the metal,” he said.
Last year, Khorrami filed two other lawsuits in Los Angeles Superior Court and one in Maryland against the American and California Dental Associations, alleging the groups withhold information about the dangers of mercury fillings. "The two California cases since have been moved to San Francisco Superior Court", Khorrami said.
Peter Stikas, chief counsel for the American Dental Association, strongly disputes Khorrami’s claim of a link between filings containing mercury and health problems, including autism.
Stikas, said that, while the U.S. Food and Drug Administration continues to investigate the safety of amalgams, “no valid” scientific evidence has ever shown that amalgams cause harm to patients with dental restorations.
He added, “We’re a science-based organization … The science currently indicates that there’s no harmful effects from amalgams.”
According to Stikas, Khorrami is the only lawyer filing suits against the national organization related to the alleged hazard of mercury fillings.
In the most recent complaint, Galeano alleges that mercury form amalgam fillings has been show to travel from mother to fetus and that mercury in newborns can cause learning disabilities, problem with language and motor skills, and autism.
Because of Daniel Galeano’s autism, he cannot attend school, speaks few words and injures himself by hitting and knocking his head against objects, the complaint states.
Khorrami said he expects that, as there have been several cases alleging the danger of mercy is vaccines, there will be more cases alleging a link between autism and mercury fillings.
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