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Little evidence to link mercury fillings to human health problems

(December 9, 2004) Bethesda, MD For many of us, having a dental cavity filled can be a frightening experience. Others take such dental repair in stride. Regardless of how you approach a trip to the dentist, you can take comfort in a new report, which concludes that the peer-reviewed scientific and medical literature published since 1996 reveals little evidence of a link between dental mercury and health problems, except in rare instances of allergic reactions.

The new report entitled Review and Analysis of the Literature on the Potential Adverse Health Effects of Dental Amalgam, is the latest to be published by the Life Sciences Research Office (LSRO), http://WWW.LSRO.ORG/. For nearly half a century, LSRO has been retained to provide independent expert scientific opinions and evaluations for the health, biosciences and food industries, as well as the federal government.

The report was prepared at the request of the federal Trans-agency Working Group on the Health Effects of Dental Amalgam. This ad hoc body is composed of representatives from the National Institutes of Dental and Craniofacial Research of the National Institutes of Health, the Center for Devices and Radiological Health of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the Office of the Chief Dental Officer of the Public Health Service. This project has been funded in whole or in part with federal funds from the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research, National Institutes of Health, under Contract No. NO1-DE-12635.

Background

Dental amalgam is an alloy (mixture) of elemental mercury with other metals, which may include silver, copper, tin, and zinc. It has been used as a restorative material for dental cavities for more than 150 years, and the American Dental Association estimates that 71 million amalgam restorations (fillings) are placed eac
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9-Dec-2004


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