Why Is Mercury So Dangerous?

Mercury is a known poison. It is more toxic than lead and arsenic. Mercury is a vapor at room temperatures and is colourless, tasteless, and odorless. Mercury vapour is absorbed almost 100% when inhaled into the lungs and immediately passes into the bloodstream. While in the bloodstream mercury can readily pass through the blood brain barrier into the brain, through the placental membrane to an unborn child, or accumulate in other organs and tissues of the body. Once mercury binds to organs and tissues in the body there can be cell death or irreversible chemical damage that impairs the function of vital organs.

The half-life of mercury in the body can be over 25 years (18 years in the brain), which means that mercury binds so strongly to body tissues that it takes the body up to 25 years to remove ½ of a single dose.1 Most proponents of amalgam fillings argue that the amount of mercury released from fillings is so minimal that it is virtually harmless. However, if one considers the analogy of a bucket with a hole in the bottom letting out water slower than is being added, eventually the bucket will overflow. Similarly, if the body is removing mercury slower than is being absorbed from fillings, it is only a matter of time when pathological symptoms begin to appear as a result of years of mercury accumulation.

Discover Magazine wrote an article on the topic of mercury exposure from our environment and from our fillings entitled “Our Preferred Poison.”

More About Mercury Fillings


  1. Sugita, M. The biological half-time of heavy metals. The existence of a third slowest component. Int Arch Occup Health, Vol. 41:25-40, 1978.
  2. Discover Vol. 26 No 03, March 2005, Biology & Medicine

Disclaimer: Most dentists are not of the view that mercury amalgam is harmful to your health.