A dose-dependent relationship between mercury exposure from dental amalgams and urinary mercury levels: a further assessment of the Casa Pia Children's Dental Amalgam Trial

Hum Exp Toxicol. 2012 Jan;31(1):11-7. doi: 10.1177/0960327111417264. Epub 2011 Jul 29.


Dental amalgams are a commonly used dental restorative material, and amalgams are about 50% mercury (Hg). In our study, urinary Hg levels was examined in children of age 8-18 years, with and without dental amalgam fillings, from a completed clinical trial (parent study) that was designed to evaluate the potential health consequences of prolonged exposure to Hg from dental amalgam fillings. Our study was designed to determine whether there was a significant dose-dependent correlation between increasing Hg exposure from dental amalgams and urinary Hg levels. Hg exposure depends on the size and number of teeth with dental amalgams. Overall, consistent with the results observed in the parent study, there was a statistically significant dose-dependent correlation between cumulative exposure to Hg from dental amalgams and urinary Hg levels, after covariate adjustment. Further, it was observed that urinary Hg levels increased by 18% to 52% among 8 to 18 year old individuals, respectively, with an average exposure to amalgams, in comparison to study subjects with no exposure to amalgams. The results of our study suggest that dental amalgams contribute to ongoing Hg exposure in a dose-dependent fashion.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Age Factors
  • Child
  • Dental Amalgam / pharmacokinetics*
  • Dental Amalgam / therapeutic use
  • Dental Caries / therapy
  • Dental Caries / urine*
  • Dental Restoration, Permanent*
  • Dose-Response Relationship, Drug
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Mercury / urine*


  • Dental Amalgam
  • Mercury