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Nicolae, Alexandra; Ames, Harry; Qui?onez, Carlos (2013)
Publisher: BioMed Central
Journal: BMC Oral Health
Languages: English
Types: Article
Subjects: Research Article, Urinary levels, Dental amalgam, Mercury
Background Dental amalgam is a source of elemental and inorganic mercury. The safety of dental amalgam in individuals remains a controversial issue. Urinary mercury concentrations are used to assess chronic exposure to elemental mercury. At present, there are no indications of mercury-associated adverse effects at levels below 5??g Hg/g creatinine (Cr) or 7??g Hg/L (urine). The purpose of the present study is to determine the overall urinary mercury level in the Canadian general population in relation to the number of dental amalgam surfaces. Methods Data come from the 2007/09 Canadian Health Measures Survey, which measured urinary mercury concentrations in a nationally representative sample of 5,418 Canadians aged 6?79?years. Urinary mercury concentrations were stratified by sex, age, and number of dental amalgam surfaces. Results The overall mean urinary mercury concentration varied between 0.12??g Hg/L and 0.31??g Hg/L or 0.13??g Hg/g Cr and 0.40??g Hg/g Cr. In general, females showed slightly higher mean urinary mercury levels than men. The overall 95th percentile was 2.95??g Hg/L, the 99th percentile was 7.34E ?g Hg/L, and the 99.9th percentile was 17.45??g Hg/L. Expressed as ?g Hg/g Cr, the overall 95th percentile was 2.57??g Hg/g Cr, the 99th percentile was 5.65??g Hg/g Cr, and the 99.9th percentiles was 12.14??g Hg/g Cr. Overall, 98.2% of participants had urinary mercury levels below 7??g Hg/L and 97.7% had urinary mercury levels below 5??g Hg/g Cr. All data are estimates for the Canadian population. The estimates followed by the letter ?E? should be interpreted with caution due to high sampling variability (coefficient of variation 16.6%-33.3%). Conclusions The mean urinary mercury concentrations in the general Canadian population are significantly lower than the values considered to pose any risks for health.

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