Compartmental transfer of mercury released from amalgam

S. Halbach, L. Kremers, H. Willruth, A. Mehl, G. Welzl, F. X. Wack, R. Hickel, H. Greim

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


The number of amalgam-covered surfaces and the occlusal area of the fillings, the concentrations of total mercury in plasma, erythrocytes and urine, the urinary excretion rate, and the absorbed daily doses estimated by two separate methods from intra-oral Hg emission were determined in 29 volunteers with a low amalgam load. The transfer of Hg from the fillings via the oral cavity and blood to urinary excretion was evaluated by multiple correlations between these variables. In addition, the combination of variables most representative of the entire compartmental transfer of amalgam Hg was determined. Urinary excretion (1), Hg concentration in plasma (2) and absorbed dose (3) were most closely correlated to each other, followed by correlations with the variables of the fillings (4). Correlation coefficients were 0.75 for variables 1 vs 2 and 2 vs 3, and 0.49 for variables 3 vs 4. It was concluded that variables 1-3 best reflected the transfer of mercury from amalgam fillings throughout the organism and that they were relatively insensitive to dietary mercury. The determination of total mercury in plasma and of its urinary excretion rate appears, under practical aspects, most suitable for the investigation of Hg uptake from amalgam.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)667-672
Number of pages6
JournalHuman and Experimental Toxicology
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 1997
Externally publishedYes


  • Amalgam
  • Mercury dose
  • Mercury transfer
  • Plasma
  • Urinary excretion


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