Water, Air, and Soil Pollution

, Volume 80, Issue 1–4, pp 59–67 | Cite as

Mass balance and systemic uptake of mercury released from dental amalgam fillings

  • I. Skare
Part I Mercury and Human Health

Abstract

The release of mercury (Hg) from dental amalgam fillings has been verified by several authors. In this study, the emission rate of Hg°-vapor from the oral cavity (O-Hg) and the urinary Hg-excretion rate (U-Hg) have been studied with 34 healthy individuals. In ten cases, the urinary excretions of silver (U-Ag) and the fecal excretions of Hg and Ag (F-Hg, F-Ag) were also monitored. All variables, except U-Ag, were significantly related to the load of amalgam. According to this study, an individual with a moderate load of amalgam, i.e. 30 restored surfaces, is predicted to exhibit the following emission rates: O-Hg=22, U-Hg=3, F-Hg=60 and F-Ag=27 μg/d (d=24 hours), consistent with a gross mass balance for Hg of approximately 60 μg/d. The corresponding systemic uptake of Hg was estimated to 12 μg/d based on external data relating air Hg°-exposures to urinary Hg-excretions. The worst case individual showed a gross mass balance of 200 μg Hg/d connected to a systemic uptake of 70 μg Hg/d. These values were compared to the average intake of total-Hg by a Swedish diet (2 μg/d) and to the WHO's tolerable value for intake of total-Hg by food (45 μg/d). Upscaled to the entire Swedish population (8 mill.), the data suggests a fecal/urinary emission to the environment of 100 kg Hg yearly originating from a population load of amalgam fillings containing 90,000 kg of Hg.

Keywords

Mercury Healthy Individual Mass Balance Urinary Excretion Oral Cavity 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 1995

Authors and Affiliations

  • I. Skare
    • 1
  1. 1.National Institute of Occupational HealthSolnaSweden

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