A study on the knowledge and awareness among dental students of mercury toxicity and amalgam disposal

Chen Min Niang, Rajesh Kamath, Ashalata Pati, Amrita Sharma, Bryal D’Souza, Sneha R. Bhat, Sagarika Kamath

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Dental amalgam consists of 50% mercury.An average amalgam filling consists of 1 gram of mercury which continously leaks mercury vapour due to the low vapour pressure of mercury.Mercury vapour can spread rapidly throughout the human body.It crosses cell membranes easily.Mercury can penetrate the blood brain barrier and result in mercury accumulation in the brain.Mercury is among the top three most toxic substances that affects people in large numbers.Amalgam is the largest source of mercury. As amalgam is the number one source of mercury production,dentists and dental students are at a very high risk of mercury poisoning due to repeated exposure to dental amalgam.This study intends to assess the knowledge and awareness levels among dental students of mercury toxicity and its potential risks,and the various disposal methods for amalgam. Though most of the students were aware of mercury toxicity and amalgam disposal methods as a whole,only a handful were aware about the absorption efficiency rate and the critical threshold of mercury,which was as low as 20.83% and 21.66% respectively.Almost 50% of the students interviewed had answered less than 8 out of 15 questions correctly.It is recommended that more effective methods for delivering information regarding mercury, its complications and management are deviced.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)108-114
Number of pages7
JournalIndian Journal of Forensic Medicine and Toxicology
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 01-04-2019

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine
  • Toxicology
  • Law
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis


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