Speciation of mercury excreted in feces from individuals with amalgam fillings

Arch Environ Health. 1998 May-Jun;53(3):205-13. doi: 10.1080/00039899809605697.


Investigators established methods for the analysis of total mercury (Hg-total), oxidized mercury and mercury bound to sulfhydryl groups (Hg-S), mercury vapor (Hg0), and mercury from amalgam particles (APs) in fecal samples. Two individuals consumed mercury as a mercury-cysteine complex mercury vapor, and mercury from amalgam particles, and the cumulative excretion of mercury in feces was followed. Investigators found that 80% of the mercury from amalgam particles and mercury bound to sulfhydryl groups was excreted, but only 40% of the mercury vapor was excreted. Speciation of mercury excreted in feces from 6 individuals with a moderate loading of amalgam fillings showed that most of the mercury originating from the fillings consisted of oxidized mercury, which was probably bound to sulfhydryl-containing compounds. The proportion of amalgam particles in fecal samples from these individuals was low, and it did not exceed 26% of the total amount of mercury excreted.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Body Burden
  • Dental Amalgam / pharmacokinetics*
  • Dental Restoration, Permanent*
  • Feces / chemistry*
  • Humans
  • Mercury / pharmacokinetics*
  • Metabolic Clearance Rate / physiology
  • Oxidation-Reduction
  • Structure-Activity Relationship


  • Dental Amalgam
  • Mercury