Even so, anyone with amalgam fillings increases their chances of oral lichen planus, a chronic inflammatory disease, from the mercury vapours.
And there is a good evidence to show that the various forms of mercury emitted by fillings also affect the immune system and eventually the nervous system.
Other studies have shown that metal toxicity reduces the IQ levels in children by four points, and can severely affect their verbal skills.
So how much is too much? According to the study that proclaimed amalgam as safe, children who had been given just one filling weren't showing any impairment in psychological or nervous functioning after five years.
But the results of those who had more fillings are still being analysed, they admit.
And, of course, there are other environmental factors also to take into account. If your overall toxic load is compromising your immune system, then you may fall foul of a chronic health problem. And an amalgam filling is just another thing that adds to the toxic weight we carry around.
(Source: Journal of the American Medical Association, 2006; 296: 1461-3).
E-news broadcast 5 October 2006 No.298 [Subscribe]