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A Mountain by Any Other Name...

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All forms of matter have these properties (don't try to correct me with something like dry ice -- yeah, under normal pressure and temperature it sublimes, going from solid to gas nearly instantaneously -- but it is possible to have liquid CO2 with the right pressure). When these state changes occur, there is no loss of matter -- the amount remains the same.

Robrt Pela is correct: If the mercury in our mouths is changing into a gas, and it is exhaled, or consumed, then that amount does leave the filling, and thus there should be less of the filling remaining. How much less, though, is anybody's guess. I would think the difference would be near negligible, and it would only be detectable within a proper experimental setting with very accurate measuring instruments.

I don't know if there have been any studies on this, Charlie. You don't seem to think so. I would think such an experiment would be rather easy to run -- start with an amalgam sample, weigh it before, let it sit, weigh it after. If you want to know how fast the mercury is subliming, weigh it continuously and take sample measurements.

All of this does, of course, assume that the mercury is not somehow chemically bound to the rest of the ingredients in the amalgam. Like I said, I am not a chemist, so I don't know. But it should be simple enough to figure out. I outlined a simple method above that doesn't rely on homeopathic tests of any sort, and can be repeated by just about anyone with an accurate lab-grade scale.

So, Charlie, try it -- and retry it. Have your friends try it. Run the experiment, put the scientific method to work. Write the paper, publish it -- and then you will have my attention.

Until then, quit your fear-mongering.

Andrew L. Ayers

Glendale

Dentured servant: Thank you, thank you, thank you! I absolutely love your coverage of the dental mercury issue and say kudos to Charlie Brown and all of the medical providers who are anti-mercury! As a person recovering from the ravages of mercury toxicity, seeing coverage like yours helps me believe that my suffering has not been in vain!

M.L. Gates
Via e-mail

Chicks Don't Dig It

Whistlin' Dixie: Let me start by saying I'm not a huge Dixie Chicks fan ("Chick Hunt," Chris Parker, April 3). I may know one or two of their songs total. But I was appalled when I read the story about them being extorted for voicing their opinion.

Correct me if I'm wrong, but isn't that what our troops have fought and are fighting for? How hypocritical is it for a media company to choose a stance, either pro or con, on someone's opinion? Then to take it one step further by stating, "We're not going to play your music until you say you're sorry." Sorry for what? For stating what they feel? Aren't the media supposed to be non-biased? If we stopped them from transmitting for voicing an opinion, they'd be the first to scream, "It's our First Amendment right to speak our opinion!"

While I may not agree with the Chicks' opinion, I definitely support their right to voice it. And I most assuredly do not agree with some self-righteous, hypocritical media corporation extorting an apology because they don't like it.

I'm not ashamed our president is from Texas. I'm ashamed that we have media companies in this country that would stoop to this.

Name withheld by request

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