Human exposure to mercury and silver released from dental amalgam restorations

Arch Environ Health. 1994 Sep-Oct;49(5):384-94. doi: 10.1080/00039896.1994.9954991.


In 35 healthy individuals, the number of amalgam surfaces was related to the emission rate of mercury into the oral cavity and to the excretion rate of mercury by urine. Oral emission ranged up to 125 micrograms Hg/24 h, and urinary excretions ranged from 0.4 to 19 micrograms Hg/24 h. In 10 cases, urinary and fecal excretions of mercury and silver were also measured. Fecal excretions ranged from 1 to 190 micrograms Hg/24 h and from 4 to 97 micrograms Ag/24 h. Except for urinary silver excretion, a high interplay between the variables was exhibited. The worst-case individual showed a fecal mercury excretion amounting to 100 times the mean intake of total Hg from a normal Swedish diet. With regard to a Swedish middle-age individual, the systemic uptake of mercury from amalgam was, on average, predicted to be 12 micrograms Hg/24 h.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Dental Amalgam / pharmacokinetics*
  • Feces
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Mercury / pharmacokinetics*
  • Mercury / urine
  • Middle Aged
  • Mouth / metabolism
  • Silver / pharmacokinetics*
  • Silver / urine
  • Spectrophotometry, Atomic


  • Silver
  • Dental Amalgam
  • Mercury