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From the international Amalgam Mailing list :
21 - 04 - '97

We should use the
>analogy with allergies and try to find people
who are extremely sensitive.
>This could of course be done by advertising
for volunteers. It should be
>possible to test those people objectively and
individually, and I think the
>very fact that this is done, and the results
of such tests, will open the
>eyes of many sceptics who have been seduced
by those urban legends about
>psychosomatic mechanisms.

Something like what Per ask for seems to have
been done. At the dental
office of Rolf Stromberg, with Sven Langworth
as scientific advisor, an
experiment with inhaling low doses of mercury
vapour was carried out some
years ago. It is not published anywhere, but
it is reported. Very recently
I recieved two different reports on this
research. One has the title:
[my translation] Accompished by Rolf
Stromberg, assistant: Kerstin
Eriksson, advisor: Dr. Sven Langworth. This
one seems to be what is
delivered. The other look more like a draft
for an article intended for
publication. Authors: Rolf Stromberg, Sven
Langworth, Erik Soderman. Title:

The abstracts differ, so I give both.

FOR MERCURY. (my translation):

The query in this investigation was primarily
if there are individuals who
are so sensitive for mercury that they could
be expected to get ill from
the small amounts of exposure from this heavy
metal originating from their
amalgam fillings. To test this 32 volunteers,
all patients suspecting
themselves being ill from amalgam, were asked
to inhale mercury vapour at
at least three occasions. The highest dose was
about the same amount which
will be inhaled when drilling away a couple of
large amalgam fillings with
no protective measures. As control the
patients inhaled clean air the same
number of times and in similar conditions. The
order in which the
inhalations appeared was random and unknown
for experimental leader and
patient. The study was "double blind".

Of the 32 patients 1 had a reaction all
occasions she inhaled mercury
vapour, but no reaction when inhaling clean
air. Most probably this person
is extremely sensitive to mercury. The other
patients reacted
unspecifically or not at all to the
provocations. ---end of abstract

AMALGAM". (my translation):

To test if "alleged amalgam illness" is caused
by increased sensitivity for
mercury, 40 volunteers, who themselves
suspected they were "ill from
amalgam", inhaled small doses of mercury
vapour and clean air respectively
in random order. The doses were administered
double blindly and were
calculated on the amounts vaporizing from
amalgam fillings under different

After the provocations the volunteers gave
their estimations of reaction to
what was inhaled. They also estimated their
daily intensity variations from
their different symptoms. A significant number
of reactions after inhaling
mercury, as well as significantly increased
intensity from symptoms were
supposed to demonstrate increased mercury

The group as a whole reacted more often after
mercury challenge, than after
clean air challenge. It can not be ruled out
that this is a result at
random, (p<0.11). However, two individuals
reacted significantly more often
for mercury than for clean air, (p<0.05 and
p<0.03). ---end of abstract

There is a lot to say about this
investigation, but I won't say much, other
than  point to the the one patient reacting
100% correctly, which when put
into the model turns to a value of p opening
up for thoughts on what 100%
is. Would it still be 100% after 100 tests?
Also the second abstract states
2/40 reacting significantly more often to
mercury. Maybe interesting for
thinking about how to raise a population for
research likely to include a
sufficient number of possible amalgam victims.

It should be noted that rather recently Rolf
Stromberg and Sven Langworth
published a case report of one patient with
high U-Hg who regained health
after amalgam removal, and the effect
persisted, so it was probably not a
placebo effect, actually stated in the
article, but not in the abstract.

Authors: Langworth S, Stromberg R
Title: A Case of High Mercury exposure from
Dental Amalgam.
Source: European Journal of Oral Sciences.
Jun 1996; 104 (3) : 320-321.
ISSN:  0909-8836
Abstract: This report describes a patient who
suffered from several
complaints, which by herself were attributed
to her amalgam fillings.
Analysis of mercury in plasma and urine showed
unexpectedly high
concentrations, 63 and 223 nmol/l,
respectively. Following removal of the
amalgam fillings, the urinary excretion of
mercury became gradually
normalized, and her symptoms declined.
---end of abstract

A month ago Rolf Stromberg announced in the
local press that 80% of his
patients improved in health after amalgam

Sven Langworth was head of the special Amalgam
clinic at Huddinge hospital
reporting on about 200 referred patients
suspected of being ill from
amalgam in 1995, not finding one that was,
referring most to psychotherapy
in order to correct their false beliefs. Also
Sven Langworth was member of
the Expert Committee stating that science
don't support that amalgam
fillings pose a risk for patients. One
conclusion from this committee is
really worth consideration:

"These accounts makes the opinion even
stronger that there is no
cause-effect relationship between amalgam
fillings and public health." The
accounts referred to are represented this way:
"In the material assessed by
the Expert group are different follow-up
studies of large patient groups.
>From these it follows that many patients,
sometimes the majority, have
their symptoms and problems left also after
amalgam removal." (my
translations from [Do you get ill from
amalgam?], SoS-rapport 1994:21,
Socialstyrelsen. ISBN 91-38-11407-0).

It seems that Langworth has met another
reality and have a story to tell
that goes beyond a single case, also more
compliant with the follow-up
studies mostly showing a majority of patients
improving after amalgam
removal. It would be nice if he told the story
in such a way that what is
real for patients could form ground for
research and expert conclusions and
so replace researchers' and experts' preformed
prejudice on what could be
the case or not.

I think that what Per points to opens the door
for another kind of
communications "across the borders". If this
does not happen new victims
will be produced, the victims there are will
continue to suffer from the
same situation as now. My interest is changing

What Per says does not rule out what Ray says
is a cause for things being
the way they are. What Ray says excludes words
of language with a potential
for shaping bridges. Per's notions are not
definite, they line out a
problem in need of solution. The terms coming
out from such a work are not
settled. Why abort the tools of description?
Note: I don't like the word
"sensitivity", and I have given reasons for
this early in the discussion,
still I don't let my feelings about terms
darken the vision. The problem is
solved when this list is closed because
amalgam is out. This should be the
goal. Or?