Public Health Service
January 15, 1993
Office of the Assistant Secretary for Health
Washington, DC 20201

Over the past 2 years, scientists and public health experts from the U.S. Public Health Service (PHS), the Environmental Protection Agency, and the health care and academic sectors have examined the question of whether mercury-containing amalgam used in clinical dentistry produces adverse health effects.

The enclosed report is the end product of their in-depth analysis. It contains the latest scientific information on the risks and benefits associated with dental amalgam, and a multi-faceted strategy to which the PHS is fully committed for further addressing this issue. The report also reaffirms the position enunciated by the PHS in March 1991, which stated that "there are no data to compel a change in the current use of dental amalgam."

Because the possibility of adverse health effects resulting from the use of dental amalgam cannot be fully discounted based on available scientific evidence, I am requesting the PHS agencies to carry out an expanded and targeted research effort. We welcome any thoughts or comments you might have on this report. You may direct your written views to the Subcommittee on Risk Management/CCEHRP, 5600 Fishers Lane (HFZ-1), Rockville, MD 20857.

Sincerely, James O. Mason, M.D., Dr.P.H.
Assistant Secretary for Health

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