Two of the most prestigious organisations in health and dentistry; The World Health Organisation (WHO) and the International Academy of Oral Medicine and Toxicology (IAOMT) state the following about the adverse health effects and symptoms derived from exposure to mercury coming off the amalgams fillings.
The WHO Policy Paper on Mercury dated in 2005 announces that Mercury is highly toxic, especially when metabolized into methylmercury (which bacteria in our gut do when the mercury vapour from our amalgams is inhaled – 1,2). Around 80% of the inhaled mercury vapour is absorbed in the blood through the lungs (as we saw in the previous post, mercury vapour is released from amalgam fillings constantly, with higher amounts observed when stimulated by exposure to hot beverages or friction of chewing). It may cause harmful effects to the nervous, digestive, respiratory, renal (kidneys) and immune systems. Adverse health effects from mercury exposure may include tremors, impaired vision and hearing, paralysis, insomnia, emotional instability, developmental deficits during foetal development, and attention deficit and developmental delays during childhood.
Recent studies suggest that mercury may have no threshold below which some adverse effects do not occur (3). In other words, the only safety exposure to mercury is zero. Which means that any type of exposure implies a risk of suffering an adverse effect on health.
The IAOMT fact sheet on mercury symptoms and effects on health states that diagnosing the adverse effects related to mercury in dental amalgam fillings is complicated, as the potential responses to the element includes over 250 symptoms.The mercury poisoning symptoms most commonly associated with elemental mercury vapour inhalation are headaches, cognitive and neurological impairments, memory loss, decrease in mental function, emotional instability, irritability, anger, depression, nervousness, shyness, social withdrawal, delusions, hallucination, delirium, insomnia, general weakness, fatigue, decreased coordination, twitching, tremors, cardiovascular problems, dermatological conditions, immune system impairments, endocrine disruptions, kidney problems, respiratory problems, hearing loss, loss of appetite, anorexia and the list goes on.
One reason for the wide-range of symptoms is that mercury taken into the body can accumulate in virtually any organ. An estimated 80% of the mercury vapour from dental amalgam fillings is absorbed by the lungs and passed to the rest of the body, particularly the brain, kidney, liver, lung and gastrointestinal tract (7).
This video, released by The IAOMT in 2011 and carried out by the University of Calgary, related to dental amalgam and mercury poisoning symptoms, shows Alzheimer’s type nerve degeneration when brain cells are exposed to tiny amounts of mercury in cell culture.
As we have just read above, the WHO states that there may not be a minimum safety or tolerable amount for mercury exposure. So what does it depend on, that we express any of the above symptoms or suffer harmful effects from long term chronic exposure to mercury amalgams? The answer to this questions next…