Saturday, January 20, 2007

Consumer Activism: Taxing The Dead's Teeth

Editorial, The Hartford Courant
January 12, 2007

Taxing The Dead's Teeth

Mercury vapors drive people crazy. Danbury hatters went mad from it. The fumes from 19th-century wallpaper killed Napoleon.

So the Federation of British Cremation Authorities is - properly - considering charging $200 per corpse to pay for filtering the mercury poisoning the air around crematories. Jolly good.

Although harmless as an amalgam dental filling, mercury in vapor forms poisons. Isaac Newton tried to convert mercury to gold by evaporating it and suffered "a distemper that seized his head," he wrote. One of his hairs was found to have 15 times more mercury than is normal.

The British Daily Mail says crematoriums could become the single biggest cause of mercury pollution in the U.K. by 2020. Some 70 million cavities are filled with mercury amalgam each year in the United States.

Connecticut has long experience with the toxin. Hat makers got the so-called Danbury shakes while making felt fur hats there. (They washed pelts with mercury nitrate.) So many suffered from the slurred speech, drooling and psychosis of mercury poisoning that people began to speak of the mentally ill as "mad as a hatter."

So talley ho! with the surcharge. Connecticut should consider crematorium filters as well.

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Published Reply to Editorial, The Hartford Courant
January 20, 2007

No Problems After Fillings Removed

In response to the Jan. 12 editorial "Taxing The Dead's Teeth," bravo! There is much to be said for ridding our environment of mercury.

I take issue, however, with The Courant's sentiment that mercury amalgam is harmless. I once was one of those "mad hatters" to which the article refers. In spite of copious rounds of doctors, hospitals and nasty psychotropic drugs, each spring and fall season for me brought on a psychosis that included hallucinations, irrational behaviors and generally bipolar tendencies. And, yes, I had the diagnosis to prove it.

Several years ago, however, after having those so-called safe amalgams removed from my teeth, presto! I recovered completely and have kissed the psychiatrist goodbye. Safe? Hah. Tax away.

Nory Oakes

Click here to visit Nory's website.

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A preview of a one-hour fully referenced documentary about the enormous danger of mercury vapor from dental amalgam. See the 'smoking tooth' right here:

Available at and


Stacy said...

Here is the French Dental Association response:

I see that their own studies did find lesions caused by mercury but that they still recommend their use . . . but that people with mercury fillings should be told not to chew gum as this releases too much mercury. That seems to contradict their argument for use.

Dana Herbert said...

Yeah, and don't drink hot coffee either....

Nory said...

Thanks for posting my response, Dana.

Because I was looking for employment, I decided to take my remarkable story of healing down from my website. I'll post it here, in case others would like to read it. Keep up the good fight, Nory

On May 16th, 1986, I was diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder I with psychotic features. It was, my doctor told my husband, David, a condition caused by a “chemical imbalance” – a condition that would only become progressively worse over time. It was a life sentence – pure and simple – or so I believed for the sixteen and a half years that followed.

I experienced mania with regularity, during which time I would be awake for days and weeks at a time. I was hospitalized on at least twelve occasions. Many other times I stayed at home as our health insurance only covered catastrophic occurrences. When I was not manic, I entered into deep depressions or simply a flat feeling brought on by taking large doses of lithium, tranquilizers and anti-depressants. For some months after my first “episode” I lived in a state of black outs – awakening now and again into my life’s circumstances. It was a little like coming in and out of a dream state. I never knew what I would be awakening into and how long consciousness would last. As well as the mania and depression, I endured a condition known as attention deficit disorder. I was unable to think clearly, follow directions easily, or organize my time. I had difficulty retaining information and often forgot the names of people that I had known for years.

The side effects from the medications I had to take were gruesome. I had chronic diarrhea almost daily for thirteen years from a dose of Lithium that was well above the therapeutic level for most patients. There were tremors, swelling, weight gain and confusion. My hair fell out in clumps. By the time I was thirty-eight, there were new medicines on the market – seizure medications that were being prescribed for bipolar disorder. I had a new psychiatrist who prescribed copious amounts of medications for me. I was taking two full handfuls of pills each day. In her discharge summary, dated 10/1/2001, she wrote:

“This patient has a history of severe Bipolar disorder consisting of severe manic episodes with psychotic and delusional thinking alternating with severe depressions accompanied by some suicidal ideation since late adolescence…

…A number of medications were tried, singly and in combination. None of the atypicals were useful in managing manic or depressive episodes…. She was most stable on her current medications which consist of: Depakote 1500 mg, Tegretol XR 400-600 mg, lithium 300-600 mg per day depending on side effects, Levothyroid .75 mg, and Topomax 100 mg. She uses Lorazepam (a tranquilizer) as needed for sleep.

Haldol ranging from 2 to 10 mg is the most effective for controlling manic breakthroughs as well as adjunctive treatment for the depression. Wellbutrin ranging from 100 mg to 400 mg per day is used for treatment of depressive symptoms. Amantadine from 100 mg to 300 mg per day is needed for side effects experienced on the Haldol. In addition to the above medications, she is currently on birth control pills to suppress ovulation because ovulation is thought to be a substantial trigger for both manic and depressive episodes.”

On top of this, I developed irritable bowel syndrome – for which my gastroenterologist informed me there was no cure. On top of the psychiatric medications, I took medications for that condition. Days went by that all I wanted was to die.

In May of 2002, I began treatments with a nutritionist, Dr. Roger Sylvestre, who recommended that I have my amalgams removed. From the time of removal of the first amalgams, I noticed a change in my mood and demeanor. I have had no episodes of mania or depression for the last three years, during which time I have had no need of psychiatric medications, hospitalization, or therapy. I have completed a Masters degree in Education and have recently been hired as an English teacher in a State school. These were just dreams to me before having the mercury removed from my teeth. Now that I am mercury free, I am able to be thoughtful, happy, and productive and “normal.” On September 29 2005, my psychiatrist gave me a clean bill of health.

Dana Herbert said...


Thank you so much for posting your encouraging story of recovery!
The blog was reposted in Italy today....check it out: