arguer: advocate of literacy skills/program audience: city council or government funding agency opponents: those who challenge the claims or have other funding priorities g) [From the web site of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration Center for Devices and Radiological Health, www.fda.gov, (accessed 5 January 2003)] FDA and other organizations of the US Public Health Service (USPHS) continue to investigate the safety of amalgams used in dental restorations (fillings). However, no valid scientific evidence has ever shown that amalgams cause harm to patients with dental restor-ations, except in the rare case of allergy. The safety of dental amalgams has been reviewed extensively over the past ten years, both nationally and internationally. In 1994, an international conference of health officials concluded there is no scientific evidence that dental amalgam presents a significant health hazard to the general population, although a small number of patients had mild, temporary allergic reactions. The World Health Organization (WHO), in March 1997, reached a simi-lar conclusion. They wrote: “Dental amalgam restorations are considered safe, but components of amalgam and other dental restorative materials may, in rare instances, cause local side effects or allergic reactions. The small amount of mercury released from amalgam restorations, especially during placement and removal, has not been shown to cause any other adverse health effects.” Similar conclusions were reached by the USPHS, the European Commission, the National Board of Health
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