In Dr Sehmer’s warning [BCMJ 2001;43(6):320] about dubious mercury poisoning results, is he seriously suggesting that mercury is not toxic, that dental amalgams are not a significant source of mercury, and that Doctor’s Data of Chicago are reporting spurious results? Can he produce one primary research article that scientifically proves that mercury is either non-toxic or does not leach out in significant amounts from dental amalgam fillings?
Gross and Jarrison have shown in vivo studies that a single amalgam with an occlusal area of 0.4 cm on average would release 15 micrograms a day or half of the amount stipulated as safe by the US Environmental Protection Agency!  Fleva has shown experimentally that corrosion of amalgams releases about 30 micrograms a day. He also calculates that the transition of only 1 gram of gamma-1 (Ag2Hg3) to AgHg in 10 years would release 170 000 micrograms of Hg, giving an exposure of 46 micrograms a day.
Dr Sehmer’s remarks that levels of Hg 20 to 30 times that of the reference levels reported by a Chicago lab are not alarming when reported by a conventional lab is as confusing as it is misguided. Doctor’s Data, a major US laboratory, participates in a voluntary quality control program where known concentrations of heavy metals are randomly tested. Their accuracy approaches 100%. I find Quack Watch to be a biased web site with very little primary research.
I would recommend he read Does Mercury from Dental Amalgams Influence Systemic Health? by Gary A. Strong. This author has collected over 300 primary scientific articles on the effects of mercury in the human body.
It is presumptuous to remove potential hope of treatment to the 5% of patients acknowledged by the ADA to be highly sensitive to mercury.
—Peter J. Nunn, MB
Dr Nunn has a complementary and general practice and has been using chelation for heavy metal problems for the last 6 years.—ED.
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