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Toxicity of Mercury

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Chronic exposure to mercury vapour produces neurological effects which include excitation, tremors, insomnia, vasomotor disturbances, gingivitis and kidney dysfunction. Toxicity of inorganic mercury includes inflammation of mucosal surface of the mouth, gingivitis with swelling, and kidney dysfunction (nephrotic syndrome) (71, 72, 73, 74, 75, 76).

Neurological damage is sustained by chronic exposure to mercury vapour. This is relevant not only for the patients receiving amalgam fillings but also for the future children of women with amalgam fillings. It is also relevant to dentists who place it. Many studies have demonstrated neurological damage to dental personnel (12, 77, 78, 79, 80 ,81, 82, 83, 84, 85)

In another recent study (5), the authors included a significant comment:

"We once stated that our experimental results can not be used to support either side of the controversy dealing with whether mercury vapour liberated from dental amalgam is harmful or involved in the etiology of disease(s). In the present study, however, in which dental technicians were exposed to mercury vapour as a result of their working with amalgams, the mean urinary mercury level after the DMPS challenge was adversely and statistically associated with functions related to complex attention, a psychomotor task, mood and symptoms in a linear dose-effect manner. Of singular importance, this investigation establishes a firm protocol for the evaluation of dental personnel regarding potential adverse neurological effects from occupational exposure to amalgam mercury"

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