Stop pushing mercury dental fillings

Stop pushing mercury dental fillings

July 16, 2015
Petition to
Aetna CEO Mark Bertolini
Petition Closed
This petition had 2,387 supporters

Why this petition matters

Started by Consumers for Dental Choice

Dental amalgam – the so-called “silver” fillings used to fill tooth cavities – is 50% mercury, a neurotoxin. Aetna sells dental insurance plans that fully pay for dental amalgam. But Aetna restricts coverage for mercury-free dental fillings, especially in back teeth. Aetna dental insurance plans often mandate mercury-containing dental amalgam – even for children! – unless consumers pay extra out-of-pocket for mercury-free fillings.

The dental amalgam that Aetna pays for causes a wide range of problems:

-- Health Risks: Dental amalgam releases mercury vapor. Children, the unborn, and the hypersensitive are especially vulnerable to the toxic effects of mercury. As a pre-Civil War concoction, amalgam requires the removal of healthy tooth tissue, weakens tooth structure, and cracks teeth – leading to higher dental bills later.

-- Environmental Pollution: Dental amalgam is the largest amount of mercury in use in the United States. Most of this mercury ends up polluting our air, soil, and water, where it can contaminate the fish we eat. Mercury pollution can cause health problems, especially for children and the unborn – leading to higher medical bills later.

-- Social Injustice: Dental amalgam is commonly used in people who live paycheck to paycheck. Then the resulting mercury pollution disproportionately affects lower-income and minority families. Yet Aetna still favors amalgam use in its dental insurance plans – leading to more damaged teeth, mercury exposure, and toxic pollution for the people who can least afford it.

To prevent these problems, Aetna needs to modify its insurance plans to reduce dental amalgam use. The new Minamata Convention on Mercury says insurers play a key role in reducing dental amalgam use. The Convention, which the United States ratified, calls for "Discouraging insurance policies and programmes that favour dental amalgam use over mercury-free dental restoration" and "Encouraging insurance policies and programmes that favour the use of quality alternatives to dental amalgam for dental restoration."

Tell Aetna: Stop favoring mercury amalgam fillings.  Start paying for all mercury-free dental fillings.  

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Decision Makers

  • Aetna CEO Mark Bertolini