DAMS Intl.      1043 Grand Ave, #317.  St Paul, Mn,  55015


Health Effects to Dentists, Dental Assistants, and Dental Hygienists from 

Occupational Exposure to Mercury Vapor from Amalgam Fillings


DAMS is a nationwide support organization for dental patients suffering from mercury toxicity due to amalgam dental fillings.  DAMS has coordinators in most states, who have themselves recovered from mercury toxicity and who have provided information to thousands of mercury toxic patients.  Previous fact sheets available on our website document that dental amalgam is the largest source of both inorganic and methyl mercury in most with several amalgam fillings, many thousands have been seriously affected by mercury from amalgam, and that most who have amalgam replaced see significant improvement after treatment.  DAMS website has over 4,000 medical study references documenting widespread chronic health effects from mercury exposure/amalgam, and over 60,000 clinical cases of recovery or significant improvement after amalgam replacement.  Dental staff occupational exposure would be the largest source of methyl mercury exposure in most dental staff for the same reason that dental amalgam exposure is the largest source in most with amalgam fillings, since mercury is commonly methylated in the mouth and intestines by bacteria, yeasts, etc.  Also, since dental staff have mercury levels typically higher than the average of those with amalgam fillings, health effects findings for those with amalgam fillings would also be relevant for dental staff. 


DAMS has also compiled over 150 medical studies documenting the adverse health effects of dental office mercury exposure to dentists, dental assistants, and dental hygienists.  The studies reviewed found that:  


1. Dental office staff mercury exposure is comparable to exposure from more than 15 amalgam fillings and commonly more than the federal ATSDR/EPA health guideline (MRL) for mercury (1,2,3).

2. Dental staff exposure is proportionate to the number of amalgam fillings placed, removed, or polished- as well as the number of their own amalgam fillings (1,2,3).

3. Dental staff have significantly higher levels of mercury excretion than non-Occupationally exposed controls (1,2).

4. Sensitization or development of allergic conditions such as dermatitis and systemic allergies is common among dental staff (1,2,8).

5. Dentists and dental staff commonly accumulate mercury body burden and develop neurological conditions such as irritability, depression or mood disorders, memory deficits, headaches, neuropathies, motor function deficits, or tremors (1,2,9,10).  

6. Dentists and dental workers have also been found to have higher levels of autoimmune or immune disorders, chronic fatigue, arthritis, myalgia or neuralgia (1,2,8,9)

7. Dentists and dental workers have been found to have higher levels of reproductive problems- including infertility, menstrual disorders, birth defects, spontaneous abortions, or children with lower than average IQ (1,2,5).

8. Some studies have found higher cancer rates, mood disorders, and higher suicide rates among dentists than in controls (1,2,8)

9. Patients and occupationally exposed workers who get their amalgam fillings replaced  and avoid further exposure to mercury often recover from serious 

chronic systemic conditions (6,2).  

10. Dental office waste and mercury in human wastes of those with amalgam fillings are the  two largest sources of high mercury levels in sewers, and 

thus a major source of mercury in waterways, fish, and wildlife.  Over 20% of all U.S. river miles, 30% of all U.S. lakes, and most bays have warnings limiting fish consumption due to mercury accumulation (4,2,11). 

11. Dental amalgam is also a major source of mercury air emissions since dental 

amalgam is the largest source of mercury in sewer sludge, and most mercury in sewer sludge is outgased either at the sewer plant or after landspread or landfilled, since soil bacteria methylates other forms of mercury to methyl mercury and both mercury vapor and methyl mercury are outgased from the soil.  Crematoria are also a major source of mercury air emissions due to those with amalgam fillings, since there is currently no regulation requiring teeth to be extracted before cremation.



1. B. Windham(Ed.), Health Effects to Dental Staff from Occupational Exposure to Mercury  

    From Work with Amalgam Fillings, 2018 (over 100 medical study references)

2. Common Exposure Levels from Amalgam Fillings and the Mechanism by which mercury causes  over 40 chronic health conditions including autoimmune conditions.

    (Over 4,000 medical study references, most from National Library of Medicine Medline)

3.  DAMS Fact Sheet 1, Amalgam is the number one source of mercury in most people and Exposures Commonly Exceed Government Health Guidelines for mercury, 2003.

4. DAMS Fact Sheet 2, The Environmental Effects of Amalgam Affect Everyone, 2018.

5. Transfer of Mercury from Mothers Amalgams and Breast Milk to the Fetus and Developmental Effects of Mercury on Infants (over 150 medical study references, most from           NIH Medline)

6. Documentation of recovery from 60,000 clinical cases of serious adverse health effects after replacement of amalgam fillings as documented by doctors.

7. Effect of Mercury and Other Toxic Metal Exposure on Cognitive and Behavioral Problems of Children- including ADHD, dyslexia, juvenile delinquency, and crime (over 150 medical study referencesmost from Medline)

 8. Autoimmune and Allergic Conditions: the connection to mercury immune reactivity and amalgam fillings (over 100 medical study references)

9. DAMS Fact Sheet 3, Documentation of Mechanisms by which mercury/amalgam causes over       40 chronic health conditions, 2018.

10. B. Windham, Mechanisms by which mercury/amalgam causes depression and mood            disorders, 2003;

11. B. Windham,   Widespread contamination of fish and wildlife by mercury(from amalgam, etc.)



 Technical contact person:     Bernard Windham                     ph: 850-878-9024             

 All backup technical papers with references available at

 papers can be viewed or saved to your computer as html or txt file (file, save as, ...)     

[ abstracts or full copies of most references can be found at the National Library of Medicine 

  Medline at]