What is a safe level of mercury due to dental amalgam? A Canadian descriptive study
This summary is based on the study published in the BMC Oral Health journal: Dental amalgam and urinary mercury concentrations: a descriptive study
- Alexandra Nicolae, Community Dental Health Services Research Unit at the University of Toronto
- Carlos Quiñonez, Community Dental Health Services Research Unit at the University of Toronto
- Harry Ames, Alberta Dental Association and College
Dental amalgam is a source of elemental and inorganic mercury. The safety of dental amalgam in individuals remains a controversial issue. Urinary mercury concentrations are used to assess chronic exposure to elemental mercury. At present, there are no indications of mercury-associated adverse effects at levels below 5 μg Hg/g creatinine (Cr) or 7 μg Hg/L (urine). The purpose of the present study is to determine the overall urinary mercury level in the Canadian general population in relation to the number of dental amalgam surfaces.
- The mean urinary mercury concentrations in the general Canadian population are significantly lower than the values considered to pose any risks for health.
- In Canada, the mumc in people with or without dental amalgam restorations are well below the levels associated with any health risks.
- In general, the mumcs tend to increase with the number of amalgam surfaces, and appear to be influenced by age and sex.
- For the same exposure level, organic mercury from food results in an absorption approximately six times greater than the absorption of inorganic mercury from dental amalgam restorations.
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