Mercury from Amalgams Poisoning Dentists

mercury and dentists

Photo by Omar Bárcena

Multiple studies have found that dentists who install and remove amalgams containing mercury have higher levels of mercury in their bodies. And mercury is a proven toxin with neurological effects.

The most recent study comes from University of Michigan’s School of Public Health. The researchers analyzed data from 131 dentists from the Michigan Dental Association, and sampled their hair and urine for mercury levels. They found a direct correlation between their mercury levels and their handling of amalgams. Their hair mercury levels ranged from 0.31-0.44 parts per million, and their urine mercury levels were 0.60-0.83 micrograms per liter.

Another study from the University of Michigan, from some of the same researchers, collected hair and urine samples from 515 dentists and dental workers such as dental hygienists and dental assistants. In this study, the average mercury urine levels were 1.06 micrograms per liter and the average hair mercury levels were .49 parts per million.

This study found that the dentists had 82% higher levels of urine mercury than did the non-dentists (those who worked in the dental office but weren’t dentists). The dentists also had more than twice the levels of mercury from hair analysis than did the non-dentists in the study.

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Other studies have indicated that dentists have higher mercury levels than the general population. A 35 year study from Scotland indicated that those working in dental offices have higher concentrations of mercury using hair analysis.

However, the University of Michigan studies and others have tried to determine why dentists do not seem to have higher likelihood of neurological disorders such as Parkinson’s disease and others. A study from Denmark, for example, showed that dentists did not have higher rates of hospital admissions for neurological disorders.

The University of Michigan researchers are theorizing that there is an epigenetic response among the dentists – that they may be processing mercury differently than the rest of the population.

This of course indicates that their genes are mutating as a result of their higher exposures. Whether this mutation will create issues for coming generations in their family is yet to be determined. One study found no obvious issues among children of dentists. But then again, epigenetic research has indicated that genetic effects of mutations can skip generations.

What we know for a fact is that dentists are poisoning themselves with a known neurological toxin. The long-term effects of our putting toxins in our teeth over the past half-century are still to be determined. The fact that mercury is a neurological toxin is now a well-accepted medical fact.

Written by Case Adams, Naturopath

REFERENCES:

Goodrich JM, Basu N, Franzblau A, Dolinoy DC. Mercury biomarkers and DNA methylation among Michigan dental professionals. Environ Mol Mutagen. 2013 Apr;54(3):195-203.

Goodrich JM, Wang Y, Gillespie B, Werner R, Franzblau A, Basu N. Glutathione enzyme and selenoprotein polymorphisms associate with mercury biomarker levels in Michigan dental professionals. Toxicol Appl Pharmacol. 2011 Dec 1;257(2):301-8.

Naimi-Akbar A, Sandborgh Englund G, Ekbom A, Ekstrand J, Montgomery S. Cognitive function among sons of women who worked in dentistry. Scand J Work Environ Health. 2012 Nov;38(6):546-52.

Franzblau A, d’Arcy H, Ishak MB, Werner RA, Gillespie BW, Albers JW, Hamann C, Gruninger SE, Chou HN, Meyer DM. Low-level mercury exposure and peripheral nerve function. Neurotoxicology. 2012 Jun;33(3):299-306.

Kefi I, Maria A, Majid Z, Sana J, Afreen M, Fareed M, Feroze A, Sajid H, Adel S, Iftikhar A, Yawer A, Kaleem M. Dental amalgam: effects of alloy/mercury mixing ratio, uses and waste management. J Ayub Med Coll Abbottabad. 2011 Oct-Dec;23(4):43-5.

Thygesen LC, Flachs EM, Hanehøj K, Kjuus H, Juel K. Hospital admissions for neurological and renal diseases among dentists and dental assistants occupationally exposed to mercury. Occup Environ Med. 2011 Dec;68(12):895-901.

Duncan A, O’Reilly DS, McDonald EB, Watkins TR, Taylor M. Thirty-five year review of a mercury monitoring service for Scottish dental practices. Br Dent J. 2011 Feb 12;210(3):E2.

Karagas MR, Choi AL, Oken E, Horvat M, Schoeny R, Kamai E, Cowell W, Grandjean P, Korrick S. Evidence on the human health effects of low-level methylmercury exposure. Environ Health Perspect. 2012 Jun;120(6):799-806.

Case Adams is a California Naturopath with a PhD in Natural Health Sciences, and Board Certified Alternative Medicine Practitioner. He has authored 26 books on natural healing strategies. “My journey into writing about alternative medicine began about 9:30 one evening after I finished with a patient at the clinic I practiced at over a decade ago. I had just spent the last two hours explaining how diet, sleep and other lifestyle choices create health problems and how changes in these, along with certain herbal medicines and other natural strategies can radically yet safely turn ones health around. As I drove home that night, I realized I needed to get this knowledge out to more people. So I began writing about health with a mission to reach those who desperately need this information. The strategies in my books and articles are backed by scientific evidence along with wisdom handed down through traditional medicines for thousands of years.”

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