VIII. Dental Amalgam as a Source of Mercury in Humans

The following is an excerpt reproduced from "Mercury 101-102" IAOMT documentation available in full from IAOMT.

A. Amount of Mercury in Dental Amalgam:

"The mass of amalgam used for the average filling is 12 grains of alloy plus mercury."

-[Craig O'Brien & Powers. Dental Materials - Properties and Manipulation, Chapter 5: Dental Amalgam. C. V. Mosby, 1975]

*Note: 12 grains = 780 milligrams (65 milligrams/grain). In 1984, the U.S.E.P.A. had a maximum Annual Intake Standard of 7.3 milligrams on non-organic mercury per year (much lower now). Therefore, ONE average sized amalgam filling contains enough mercury to exceed the U.S.E.P.A. old human intake standard for over 100 years, given exposure to all of the mercury in the one amalgam filling. Obviously, this does not happen as the amalgam breaks down when enough mercury exits the filling. The point is, there is more than enough mercury in even one amalgam to present a cause for concern.

Contact us media

B. The Stability of Dental Amalgams

1. Dental amalgam contains at least four metals (Hg, Ag, Cu, Sn, plus others). These metals combine to form a random mixture of alloys, called "phases". Each alloy is separate and unique, and therefore has a different electrical potential than the others.

2. Amalgam is continuously bathed in electrolytes (saliva, tissue fluids, liquids).

3. Dissimilar metals in electrolytes always become batteries, which generate electrical currents the movement of metal ions! Therefore, it is impossible for dental amalgam to be stable in the oral environment, and contrary to the laws of physics. Further, the fact that dental amalgams become miniature batteries has been scientifically documented in the dental literature since 1878.

* Chase, HS (DDS & MD). Some observations and Experiments Connected with Oral Electricity, J Dental Science, 12:18-23, 1878-1879. * Schriever, W; Diamond, LE. Electromotive Forces and Electric Currents Caused by Metallic Dental Fillings. J. Dental Research, 21(2)"205-228, 1952.

Average inhalations/day (adult, resting) = 17,280 breaths/day
[12/minute x 60 minutes x 24 hours]
USEPA mercury intake standard (non-dietary; 1984) = 20,000 nanograms/day
[20 micrograms x 1000 = 20,000 nanograms/day (154 lb. adult)]
Therefore, amount of mercury/breath to exceed USEPA standard = 1.16 nanograms/breath
1979, Gay, et al., Lancet, 1 (8123):985-6: = 1.42 ng Hg/breath
[exhaled air, unstimulated amalgams]
1984, Abraham et al., J. Dental Research 63(1):71-3: = 0.75 ng Hg/breath
[intraoral air, unstimulated amalgams]

C. Patient Inhalation of Mercury Vapor from Dental Amalgams: Early Published Research.

[Utilizing published research measuring amount of mercury per breath.]

By 1984, research published in valid journals had demonstrated that patient exposure to mercury released from amalgam dental fillings approached or exceeded current adult standards, even with no stimulation of the fillings. Since then, numerous studies have demonstrated continuous patient exposure to amalgam mercury under different circumstances. Even the American Dental Association and the National Institute of Dental Research, in 1984, formally acknowledged this continuous mercury exposure.

IX. Daily Intake of Amalgam Mercury, Non-Occupationally Exposed Humans.

WHO: World Health Organization. Environmental Health
Criteria 118: Inorganic Mercury, Geneva, 1991:

[Note: This WHO committee consisted of 12 world renowned mercury toxicology experts, including Murray J. Vimy, Founder of IAOMT.]

Human mercury intake chart, page 36: [Micrograms/day; intake & (absorption)]

[Note: In non-occupationally exposed humans, the absorption of mercury from dental amalgams is 1.5-6.5 times the amount absorbed from all other sources combined, including fish!]

Exposure Element Hg Vapor Inorganic Hg Compounds Methyl Hg
Air 0.030(0.024) 0.002 (0.001) 0.008 (0.0064)
       Fish 0 0.600 (0.042) 2.4 (2.3)
       Non-fish 0 3.6 (0.25) 0
Drinking Water 0 0.050 (0.0035) 0
Dental amalgams 3.8-21 (3-17) 0 0

Sign up for Health Tips & More!

This field is required.
This field is required.
This field is required.
Newsletter media
Contact us media
Accessibility: If you are vision-impaired or have some other impairment covered by the Americans with Disabilities Act or a similar law, and you wish to discuss potential accommodations related to using this website, please contact our Accessibility Manager at (310) 888-7797.
Rate Us
Rate us on Google Rate us on Realself Rate us on Yelp
Contact Us