The Journal of Contemporary Dental Practice

Register      Login



Volume / Issue

Online First

Related articles

VOLUME 15 , ISSUE 2 ( March-April, 2014 ) > List of Articles


Evaluation of Mercury Contamination in Patients and Water during Amalgam Removal

Gustavo Otoboni Molina, Marcelo Tomás Oliveira, Henrique Vieira Constantino, Elysa Milioli, Janaina Salomon Ghizoni, Jefferson Ricardo Pereira

Citation Information : Molina GO, Oliveira MT, Constantino HV, Milioli E, Ghizoni JS, Pereira JR. Evaluation of Mercury Contamination in Patients and Water during Amalgam Removal. J Contemp Dent Pract 2014; 15 (2):165-168.

DOI: 10.5005/jp-journals-10024-1508

Published Online: 01-10-2014

Copyright Statement:  Copyright © 2014; The Author(s).



The aim of this study was to evaluate mercury levels in wastewater and in patients during the removal of dental amalgam restorations.

Materials and methods

To test for mercury levels, patients were tested before and after amalgam restoration removal. To test for mercury emissions, samples of constant volume of wastewater from high-speed drills were collected before and during amalgam restoration removal.


Although the systemic mercury levels were lower than the limit of biological tolerance, all patients had increased levels after dental restorations. All samples of wastewater had increased mercury levels too.


The urinary levels of mercury increased with dental amalgam removal using a high-speed drill. During the process of amalgam removal, water used for cooling the dental drill was contaminated with mercury.

Clinical significance

The mercury released by the physical action of the drill, the replacement material and especially the final destination of the amalgam waste can increase contamination levels that can be a risk for human and environment health.

How to cite this article

Oliveira MT, Constantino HV, Molina GO, Milioli E, Ghizoni JS, Pereira JR. Evaluation of Mercury Contamination in Patients and Water during Amalgam Removal. J Contemp Dent Pract 2014;15(2):165-168.

PDF Share
  1. Mercury uptake and kinetics after ingestion of dental amalgam. J Dent Res 2001;80(9):1793-1796. 2008;22(2):119-124.
  2. People with high mercury uptake from their own dental amalgam fillings. Occup Environ Med 1995;52(2):124-128.
  3. Subjective symptoms and neurobehavioral performances of ex-mercury miners at an average of 18 years after the ces-sation on chronic exposure to mercury vapor. Environ Res 1993;62(2):289-302.
  4. The potential adverse health effects of dental amalgam. Toxicol Rev 2005;24(1):1-10.
  5. Mercury exposure and risks from dental amalgam in the US population, post-2000. Sci Total Environ 2011;409(20):4257-4268.
  6. Effect of mercury (Hg) dental amalgam fillings on renal and oxidative stress biomarkers in children. Sci Total Environ 2012;431(1);188-196.
  7. Scalp hair and saliva as biomarkers in determination of mercury levels in Iranian women: Amalgam as a determinant of exposure. J Hazard Mater 2010;177(1):109-113.
  8. Assessment of blood mercury levels in practicing turkish clinicians, dental students, and dental nurses. Quintessence Int 2008;39(4):e173-178.
  9. Geneva, Environmental Health Criteria 118: Inorgaric Mercury. Geneva; WHO, 1991:pp. 3-147.
  10. Dental clinics: a point pollution source, not only of mercury but also of other amalgam constituents. Chemosphere 2011;84(8):1133-1139.
  11. A scandinavian tragedy. Br Dental J 2008;204(5):233-224.
  12. Has dental amalgam been torpedoed and sunk? J Dent Res 2008;87(2):101-102.
  13. Effect of rubber dam on mercury exposure during amalgam removal. Eur J Oral Sci 1999;107(3):202-207.
  14. Interview: The dental amalgam. Int J Braz Dent 2006;2(7):216.
  15. Effects from exposure to dental amalgam on systemic mercury levels in patients and dental school students. Photomed Laser Surg 2010;28(Suppl 2):111-114.
  16. High mercury emissions from dental clinics despite amalgam separators. Sci Total Environ 2006;362(1):74-84.
  17. Neuropsychological and renal effects of dental amalgam in children a randomized clinical trial. JAMA 2006;295(15):295-299.
  18. A dose-effect analysis of children's exposure to dental amalgam and neuropsychological function. The New England children's amalgam trial. J Amer Dent Assoc 2007;138(9):1210-1216.
  19. Mercury released from amalgam restorations does not give rise to toxic effects on the nervous system of children. Evi Based Dent 2009;9(1):25-27.
  20. Optimizing the procedure for mercury recovery from dental amalgam. Braz Oral Res 2008;22(2):119-124.
  21. A technical report on repair of amalgam-dentin complex. Oper Dent 2011;36(5):563-566.
  22. Effects of different surface conditioning methods on the bond strength of composite resin to amalgam. Oper Dent 2011;36(3):318-325.
  23. Bond strength comparison of amalgam repair protocols using resin composite in situations with and without dentin exposure. Oper Dent 2010;35(6):655-662.
  24. Penetration of amalgam constituents into dentine. J Dent 2009;37(5):366-373.
  25. Bond strength of resin composite to differently conditioned amalgam. J Mater Sci Mater Med 2006;17(1):7-13.
PDF Share
PDF Share

© Jaypee Brothers Medical Publishers (P) LTD.