Is a mouthful of mercury safe?

Posted by Trish Riley, December 12, 2010

People who have silver fillings in their teeth also have mercury in their mouths. The big question is whether the metal is hazardous to humans.

Many dentists and researchers say the mercury is safe. But some scientists blame the mercury on skyrocketing Alzheimer’s disease and similar health issues.


A U.S. Food and Drug Administration panel will try to settle the issue following hearings scheduled for Tuesday and Wednesday in Maryland.

Any mercury is dangerous, and when added to the ground-up brain cells of deceased people without dementia, it will create the abnormal biochemistry seen in the brains of Alzheimer’s sufferers, said Boyd Haley, Ph.D., University of Kentucky chemistry professor.

“There is something increasing the rate of Alzheimer’s disease. And I think it’s exposure to mercury,” Haley said.

Other than from some dental fillings, the mercury also likely came from some vaccinations and coal-powered energy plants, Haley said.

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