My training and professional experiences
are in engineering. Among the many principals of good engineering is the
concept of systems modeling.
If you have a representative system model, then indicators, approximations, and estimators can be useful in determining the state of the whole system. With a proven system model it is possible to determine the validity and accuracy of available estimation tools.
My read of the medical/dental research literature relating health consequences to mercury exposure from mercury amalgam fillings leaves me quite puzzled. There is no scientifically established human system model for chronic mercury exposure from amalgams.
Researchers commonly use indicators that have no proven system accuracy
to proclaim far reaching conclusions about the amount of mercury exposure.
From these unsupportable conclusions, they then extend to claim no negative
health consequences result.
Chronic Mercury and Chronic Rain, Parallel Systems
You get out your wet and dry vacuum and suck up all the water you can
from within the 100 sq. inches. When you go back in and measure the water
you've collected, you find very little. In fact, it hardly seems moist at
all based on the sampling with your vacuum. You had a very difficult time
even measuring the water. Now comes the truly amazing part, your conclusion.
The issue of mercury toxicity from continuous mercury release from
dental amalgams is fundamentally about mismatched rates. Lets go through
the rain and the mercury vapor problem together to examine this point further.
Such methods give the ability to measure the input rate and the absolute
amounts of new water and new mercury within a time period, and not just
the element present at a moment.
Rates Model for Mercury Exposure, Absorption, and Subsequent Toxicity
Until such a model is developed and used to validate experimental observations, all conclusions about systemic effects are nothing more than speculations based on incomplete information.
Here is a mathematical description using inequalities for system relationships
where the relative rates determine whether dental amalgam mercury exposure
is likely to make a person ill or not.
In all of these cases mercury enters the human system and is chemically
bound up disruptively faster than it can be excreted. The net is toxicity
at some level. The magnitudes of the different rates will determine just
how sick the person may become.
In all of these cases the body is the winner because it can excrete faster
than the absorption and binding rates. Some of these inequalities will be
more taxing on the body than others. It is always better to not absorb mercury
in the first place, than to be the worlds best excretor.
How Much Mercury Exposure From Mercury Amalgam Fillings ?
Lets go back to our rain example and make one change. Instead of rain, the water coming down is from a garden hose. Now we can bypass the bucket to catch water, and just put a flow meter on the hose. Measuring the rate of water exposure will be simpler in this system.
Mercury exposure from mercury amalgam dental fillings are more like the garden hose system. We have a way to more readily estimate the magnitude of how much mercury was placed into the human system.
How can we know the amount of mercury going into the body ?
We can know how much was mixed into the dental amalgam when it was first installed. Amalgam manufacturers have made the mercury mix very exacting in these recent years. By carefully removing the filling from the tooth and measuring how much mercury is left, it can be determined by arithmetic how much has been released into the human body.
Nice idea, has it been done ?
Yes it has. More than once by more than one independent researcher. Jaro Pleva has published results from this kind of study twice. His work seems to be discredited by the dental/medical establishment in the U.S.. One reason I propose is prejudice. Jaro's European, and not a part of the American health establishment. Another possible reason is that he is very outspoken that mercury amalgam fillings are causing widespread health problems. A point the U.S. health establishment seems unwilling to hear.
Jaro Pleva is not the only one to conduct this type of study. The people in the following reference are from the Department of Restorative Dentistry, University of California, San Francisco, San Francisco, CA. This is a credible American Dental School that does extensive research into dental materials.
These people are part of the U.S. dental establishment. If you read all of their papers, it becomes clear that they are also apologists for their industry. They present data that clearly indicates mercury amalgams lose mercury "in vivo", begrudgingly admitting that some of their samples indicate a "statistical worst case loss" of as much as 2.8%.
My review of their dental apologetics paper, leaves a better understanding of the multiple variables involved. There is indeed much variation in the amount of mercury that resides within amalgams from the same manufacturer.
Below is the data presented by the U.S. dental industry apologists, and
my critical review.
Review of the Data From UCSF Dental School
"Gamma-1 to beta-1 phase transformation in retrieved clinical amalgam
restorations"; SJ. Marshall, GW. Marshall, Jr., H. Letzel; Dental Materials
8:162-166, May 1992.
Initial Hg is the amount the manufacturer specified or included with
the amalgam supplies. Missing Hg is calculated by subtracting their residual
numbers from the manufacturers specified initial mix. I don't have initial
values for all their samples just yet. I will fill in the table as I get
|Brand||Sample #||Sample Age||Residual Hg||Initial Hg||Missing Hg|
|New TRUE Dentalloy||20||8.3||42.9%||-||-|
|New TRUE Dentalloy||22||8.1||46.2%||-||-|
|New TRUE Dentalloy||23||7.6||47.9%||-||-|
|New TRUE Dentalloy||31||6.7||50.9%||-||-|
Please note the high variance in residual mercury between samples of the same brand:
Ageston shows a 5.2% variance normalized to the amalgam. ?% normalized to initial Hg.
Cavex-SF shows a 5.1% variance normalized to the amalgam, ?% normalized to initial Hg.
New True Dentalloy shows a 8% variance normalized to the amalgam, ?% normalized to initial Hg.
Shofu Spherical shows a 4.5% variance normalized to the amalgam, ?% normalized to initial Hg.
Standalloy F shows a 9.9% variance normalized to the amalgam, ?% normalized to initial Hg.
The researchers explain away the maximum amounts they can of the variation based on the handling of the dentist installing the amalgam, and the batch of metal powder alloyed in the amalgam.
From the data and explanations they gave, there is little doubt that some of the missing Hg and variances in residual Hg can be explained away. I'm not willing to accept their partisan approach to minimizing the amount that escaped into the humans. There is no reason to believe amalgam dissolution and mercury release rates are uniform from filling to filling, mouth to mouth. Some people are getting it much worse.
I find it heartening for the truth that they would even admit some mercury was in fact missing, most likely due to the experience "in vivo".
Since Candida yeast collect mercury, selectively feed it to immune cells, and magnify the toxicity by converting it to methyl mercury, releasing it into the gut, any released mercury is too much.
|Brand||Sample #||Sample Age||Residual Hg||Initial Hg||Missing Hg|
|Cavex non Gamma 2||142||4.3||48.1%||-||-|
Please note the high residual mercury variance between samples of the
A76 Degussa shows a 3.7% variance normalized to the amalgam. ?% normalized to initial Hg.
Dispersalloy shows a 4.2% variance normalized to the amalgam, 8.4% normalized to initial Hg.
Luxalloy shows a 8.4% variance normalized to the amalgam, 15.4% normalized to initial Hg.
Abandoning the conventions of the amalgam researchers, lets discuss the amount of mercury missing as a percentage of all the mercury installed with the filling, 100%. For two of these brands I have specifications for the initial amounts. Below is the maximum amounts of mercury missing from the presented samples.
Dispersalloy shows a worst case sample with 15.8% missing from the initial 100% of Hg installed in the filling.
Luxalloy shows a worst case sample with 17.8% missing from the initial 100% of Hg installed in the filling.
I'm willing to allow some of this variation to be accounted for by batch variation and differences in operator technique in condensing the raw mix. My talk with a metallurgist experienced in amalgam research leads me to allow 5% of the mercury as a reasonable maximum for these factors.
The 10.8% and 12.8% still missing, need another explanation. Evaporation and runoff during setting; solid state conversion, corrosion, and electro-chemical dissolution -- all release mercury into your mouth. These are the other explanations for the missing mercury.
None of this information accounts for abraded particles which reduced the initial mass of the filling, leaving no clues behind, corrosion byproduct or any other estimator.
|Brand||Sample #||Sample Age||Residual Hg||Initial Hg||Missing Hg|
Please note the high variance in residual mercury between samples of
the same brand:
Indiloy shows a 2.5% variance normalized to the amalgam. 7.1% normalized to initial Hg.
Sybraloy shows a 4.0% variance normalized to the amalgam, 9.0% normalized to initial Hg.
Tytin shows a 1.7% variance normalized to the amalgam, 13.5% normalized to initial Hg.
Abandoning the conventions of the amalgam researchers lets discuss the amount of mercury missing as a percentage of all the mercury installed with the filling, 100%. For each of these brands I have specifications for the initial amounts. Below is the maximum amounts of mercury missing from the presented samples.
Indiloy shows a worst case sample with 9.0% missing from the initial 100% of Hg installed in the filling.
Sybraloy shows a worst case sample with 14.4% missing from the initial 100% of Hg installed in the filling.
Tytin shows a worst case sample with 16.9% missing from the initial 100% of Hg installed in the filling.
Again, I'm willing to allow some of this variation to be accounted for by batch variation and differences in operator technique. A 5% placement variation of residual mercury is a reasonable maximum for these factors.
The 4%, 9.4%, and 11.9% of initial mercury still missing, need another explanation. Evaporation and runoff during setting; solid state conversion, corrosion, and electro-chemical dissolution -- all release mercury into your mouth. These are the other explanations for the missing mercury.
Still, none of this information accounts for abraded particles which reduce the initial mass of the filling, leaving no clues behind, corrosion byproducts or other estimators.
Now lets talk about the maximum amounts of mercury your body is exposed
to from a dental filling. There are so many assumptions, presumptions, opinions,
points of view, and vested interests, I will simply present a table of possible
You choose what you believe is the right amount for you. Dr. SJ Marshall assumed the average filling weighed 0.4 grams each. I'm willing to do that and assume the average filling started with 50% mercury.
Below is the table of possible exposure rates given the number of teeth with average amalgams, and your favorite average loss of mercury.
|Teeth w/||Avg||Average Loss of Hg (mg)|
Oral galvanism, when it includes mixed metals, will push the percentages
up. Abrasion and wearing of the actual filling are not accounted for in
any of the missing mercury numbers presented on this page from Dr. Marshall's
According to a Danish report concerned with mercury pollution in the environment, the average amount of mercury released at cremation is 1.8 to 3.8 grams per cadaver. We humans carry quite a bit of mercury in our teeth, all the way to the grave it seems.
For some, the mercury they carry to the grave may in fact be what carried them to the grave.
1. By using engineering principles to model the complex human system of dental mercury that is release into the mouth: methylization, human absorption, harmful binding, and excretion; it is easy to see major fallacies in the way estimates of potential mercury poisoning are made in some of the published research literature.
2. Scientific principles obvious to most technical people are not showing up in these studies of mercury exposure from dental amalgam. We entrust our good health and desire for long life to the decisions based on the results of these flawed studies.
3. There is compelling evidence from multiple independent researchers that mercury amalgam fillings release mercury into the body on a continuous basis.
4. The proper unit of measurement for the mercury released from an average amalgam over time is milligrams (mg).
5. Case histories of known mercury exposure, and the rates model offered in this essay, both indicate that there will be a wide variance in health consequences between individuals, when confronted with the same rate of mercury exposure.
6. Candida albicans is scientifically proven to transform elemental mercury into the far more poisonous methyl mercury. Many people with CFS and other chronic illnesses have documented Candida yeast overgrowth in the intestines.
7. Given the clear hazard of even small amounts of mercury, it is unreasonable to continue using mercury alloys for dental restorations.
8. People with CFS, bearing mercury amalgam fillings, and experiencing Candida overgrowth in the GI track need to take heed of the knowledge conveyed here. The facts and reasoning presented are compelling that mercury amalgam fillings are the suspected root of your puzzling health problems.