Dental Amalgam Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS) Overview

Mike Flemming DDS, Advisor to the FDA (dental products panel 2006 & 2010) Explains The Dental Amalgam Material Safety Data Sheet – MSDS.


The United States Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) requires the provision of a Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS) for any hazardous material that poses a threat to employees in a workplace. The purpose of the MSDS is to protect workers by supplying them with the most crucial facts about the hazardous material at their job site, such as the physical properties of the material, proper storage and handling techniques, known health risks and essential emergency procedures.

Thus, manufacturers of amalgam fillings must create these information sheets, and their MSDSs include disturbing evidence about the known dangers of using mercury in dental fillings. Feel free to explore the sheets for yourself since we have provided you with the MSDSs from manufacturers of dental amalgam all over the world.  Here are a few highlights:

From Kerr Contour (CA, USA) and others…

“This product contains mercury, a chemical known to the State of California to cause birth defects or other reproductive harm.”

From Ana 90 Duett (Sweden)…

“Mercury may accumulate in the body which may cause adverse health effects.”

From Kerr Sybraloy (CA, USA) and others…

From Goldsmith (NJ, USA)…

“Repeated low exposure or very high single exposure can cause Mercury poisoning.  Symptoms include tremors (shaking), trouble remembering and concentrating, gum problems, increased salivation, loss of appetite and weight, and changes in mood or personality.”“Mercury may lower sex drive.”

From Ivoclar Vivadent (NY, USA)…

“Mercury can cause urinary problems, visual disturbances, tremors, salivation, stomatitis, loss of teeth, blue lines on gums or neurotoxic/nephrotoxic effects.”“Do not touch spilled mercury.  Collect the mercury droplets using specialized mercury vacuum cleaner.”

From Original D Wykle (NV, USA)…

“Separate work and street clothing.  Store work clothing in special lockers.  Showers to be taken before chaning (sic) into street clothes.  Provide pre-placement and periodic medical exams for those regularly exposed to mercury with emphasis directed to CNS-central nervous system, skin, lungs, liver, kidneys, and G.I. tract.”

From Oralloy MagiCaps (Switzerland)…

“Mercury: Poison by inhalation.  Human gastrointestinal tract and central nervous effects.”

From Bethlehem Apparatus Company (PA, USA)…

“Mercury is highly toxic, irritating and causes sensitization and neurological symptoms.”“Mercury causes severe, adverse health effects after chronic exposure to low vapor levels.  Emergency response efforts must be directed to removal of all traces of this product.”“The principal target organ associated with chronic Mercury exposure via inhalation is the central nervous system.  Such exposures lead to the development of “Erethism.”  This syndrome consists of subtle or dramatic changes in behavior or personality: depression, fearfulness, restlessness, irritability, timidity, and indecision. These psychic and behavioral characteristics are often accompanied by insomnia, drowsiness, headache, fatigue.  In advanced cases, memory loss, hallucinations, and mental deterioration may occur.”“This product is reported to cause reproductive effects in humans.  Impotence has been reported in over-exposed males.  Women occupationally exposed have reported menstrual disturbances, reduced ovulation, and spontaneous abortions.  Mercury is excreted in breast milk.”Pre-existing respiratory problems, dermatitis, central nervous system disorders, kidney problems, and liver dysfunction can be aggravated by exposure to this product.”“Mercury can be harmful or fatal to contaminated plant or animal life.”

From Ivensys (MA, USA)…

“Chronic exposure appears more common than acute and is primarily associated with central nervous system damage which can be permanent (ex. paresthesia of the hands, lips, feet).  Early signs of toxicity include weakness, fatigue, anorexia, weight loss, and gastrointestinal disturbances.  If exposure levels are high, characteristic tremors of the fingers, eyelids, and lips occur with progression to generalized tremors of the entire body.  Psychic disorders are noticeable and characterized by behavior and personality changes, increased excitability, memory loss, and depression.”

From Schein (England)…

“To promote safe handling, each customer or recipient should (1) notify its employees, agents, contractors, and others whom it knows or believes will use this material of information regarding hazards or safety (2) furnish this same information to each of its customers for the product and (3) request its customers to notify their employees, customers, and other users of the product of this information.”

From SDI (Australia)…

“Toxic by inhalation.”

From SILMET (Israel)…

“The number of amalgam restorations for one patient should be kept to a minimum.”

From Caulk – Disperalloy (USA)

The use of amalgam is CONTRAINDICATION, which means that their material“should not be used in the following circumstances”.

  • In proximal or occlusal contact to dissimilar metal restorations.
  • In patients with severe renal deficiency.
  • In patients with known allergies to amalgam.
  • For retrograde or endodontic filling.
  • As a filling material for cast crown.
  • In children 6 and under.
  • In expectant mothers.

Mercury expressed during condensation and unset amalgam may cause amalgamation or galvanic effect if in contact with other metal restorations. If symptoms persist, the amalgam should be replaced by a different material. Removal of clinically acceptable amalgam restorations should be avoided to minimize mercury exposure, especially in expectant mothers.

Precautions:;The number of amalgam restorations for one patient should be kept to a minimum. Inhalation of mercury vapor by dental staff may be avoided by proper handling of the amalgam, the use of masks, along with adequate ventilation. Avoid contact with skin and wear safety glasses and gloves. Store amalgam scrap in well sealed containers. Regulations for disposal must be observed.

All of the above quotes are taken directly from the Material Safety Data Sheets attached at the bottom of this article. Find out even more by reading them for yourself…


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