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FASEB J. 1989 Dec;3(14):2641-6.

Dental "silver" tooth fillings: a source of mercury exposure revealed by whole-body image scan and tissue analysis.

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Department of Radiology, University of Calgary, Faculty of Medicine, Alberta, Canada.


Mercury (Hg) vapor is released from dental "silver" tooth fillings into human mouth air after chewing, but its possible uptake routes and distribution among body tissues are unknown. This investigation demonstrates that when radioactive 203Hg is mixed with dental Hg/silver fillings (amalgam) and placed in teeth of adult sheep, the isotope will appear in various organs and tissues within 29 days. Evidence of Hg uptake, as determined by whole-body scanning and measurement of isotope in specific tissues, revealed three uptake sites: lung, gastrointestinal, and jaw tissue absorption. Once absorbed, high concentrations of dental amalgam Hg rapidly localize in kidneys and liver. Results are discussed in view of potential health consequences from long-term exposure to Hg from this dental material.

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[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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