U.K. man claims dental amalgam caused asthma

A U.K. man says his asthma symptoms disappeared after his amalgam fillings were removed, according to a story in the Sun.

Simon Williams believes he developed asthma four years ago from his mercury fillings, the Sun reported. But after having his amalgam fillings removed -- a process he said was quite painful -- he claims his symptoms disappeared.

"When I woke the following morning, I felt I could breathe properly for the first time in years," Williams said in the story. "I am utterly convinced my dental fillings gave me asthma."

U.K. residents have 8 million amalgam fillings done every year, and the U.K. Department of Health insists they pose no danger, according to the story.

"These fillings are durable and safe. Studies conducted over many years support their safety," the story quoted a health department spokeswoman.

Last year the FDA reclassified dental amalgam and its component parts -- elemental mercury and a powder alloy -- but asserted that amalgam poses no health risks. The agency reclassified mercury from a class I (least risk) device to class II (more risk) device, classified dental amalgam as a class II device, and designated a special controls guidance document that includes new labeling recommendations for dental amalgam products.

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