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Test may overestimate mercury exposure.

A common test used to check for mercury exposure from dental amalgam fillings may significantly overestimate the amount of the toxic metal released from fillings, a recent study found.

Published online March 20 in Environmental Science & Technology, the study measured hair and urine from 12 Michigan dentists. The research found the dentists' urine contained a mix of mercury from both the consumption of fish containing inorganic mercury as well as inorganic mercury vapor from the amalgam fillings.

"These data suggest that in populations that eat fish but lack occupational exposure to mercury vapor, mercury concentrations in urine may overestimate exposure to mercury vapor from dental amalgams," said study co-author Joel Blum, PhD, also of the University of Michigan. "This is an important consideration for studies seeking to determine the health risks of mercury vapor inhalation from dental amalgams."

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Title Annotation:HEALTH FINDINGS
Author:Currie, Donya
Publication:The Nation's Health
Article Type:Brief article
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Jul 1, 2013
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