Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Lead is everywhere it seems...

We should probably put this one in our Recall Roundup blog rather than here since so many of the recalls involve lead these days. However, since I've ranted before about China and lead, I thought I'd share this info on crowns (for teeth) here so I could comment. Recall Roundup doesn't allow me to vent or share my thoughts. Yes, sometimes I just share without ranting...

I've not once ever thought about what my crowns were made of, much less where they came from. I would have "assumed" they were a mix of products and that they were mixed here. The dentist is local, the stuff is mixed here in the U.S. --- my mental picture of what occurs didn't go beyond some guy or gal in a white coat patiently mixing stuff while looking at a mould of my tooth.

I've had two crowns, getting ready to go for a third. When I was a teenager I tripped, knocked some teeth out, have had various problems ever since. Luckily, none major. It wasn't exactly fun wearing a cast in my mouth while they worked to save my teeth (they stuck 'em back in and did manage to save them!). More luck that there was a local dentist available to students in the middle of the evening who knew what he was doing!

Back to my original rant...

Who'd-a-thought we needed to worry about crowns? I've been reading, and been told by a dentist friend, that it's a good idea to get the metal out of my mouth from fillings. I was all for it until I heard the cost of switching and then just decided all the metal that would leech into my system had probably already done so... tain't cheap going to those pretty enamel colored fillings. Especially when you have a life-time of silver in your mouth that need to be switched.

Ha, it just connected! Neurons are firing in the old brain... my rants and conspiratorial thoughts come from the metal in my fillings. Voila, now I have a ready-made reason for any whacky theories or thoughts.

Still trying to get back to my original rant...

Or at least stick with it for a few minutes...

Lost my train of thought...

Oh, who cares where I was heading, just read the story:

Dental Lab Industry Launches Web Site to Inform Consumers on Lead Scare
(BUSINESS WIRE)--The National Association of Dental Laboratories has launched a Web site to inform consumers concerned about recent reports of lead contamination in dental crowns imported from overseas. The Web site,, provides consumers an opportunity to contact the association’s staff with questions regarding the news reports about the potential for such products to be contaminated with harmful amounts of lead.

Numerous news outlets have reported on this issue since Feb. 27, when WBNS-TV in Columbus, Ohio, reported a confirmed case of a victim made sick by lead contamination from an imported dental restoration. The station further reported that an independent analysis of dental crowns imported from offshore dental laboratories found some products to be contaminated with dangerous levels of lead.

The case confirms long-standing concerns of the National Association of Dental Laboratories, which for years has urged federal and state regulators to implement more stringent regulation to protect patients receiving dental restorations.

These products are currently under-regulated, with few legal requirements for technicians to be certified and no mandates for dentists to document or disclose the source of dental work to patients. Although dentists prescribe the type of device they need for a dental patient, the product is actually manufactured by a dental technician employed by a dental laboratory, which could be located anywhere in the world. As more and more Americans seek dental restorative treatment and some dentists face pressure to cut costs, a growing percentage of the dental work Americans carry in their mouths is now imported from countries such as China, Pakistan, the Philippines and India.

The National Association of Dental Laboratories, based in Tallahassee, Fla. – the leading trade group for the $8 billion U.S. dental-restoration products industry – has been on record since 2003 supporting federal and state regulation to assure patients their restorations are safe for use, regardless of where they are manufactured. Through public advocacy and outreach, the Association has worked with the U.S. Food & Drug Administration, state health officials and the dental industry to support:

Mandatory certification and continuing education for dental technicians who manufacture restorations;
Mandatory registration of all dental laboratories with the U.S. Food & Drug Administration or appropriate state government agencies;
Mandatory documentation of all materials included in a restoration, as well as the point of origin (country and laboratory) where the restoration was manufactured; and
Mandatory documentation of all these items in a patient’s dental records.

The National Association of Dental Labs is a trade association with 43 affiliated state and regional commercial dental laboratory associations representing more than 1,600 members. For more information, please visit

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