Scott: When somebody has a, gets a mercury filling, how long does that affect them? Does it decrease over time? If someone has if for 70-80 years, are they still being affected by that, is it still getting into the system or does it, after a while, slowly stop?
Dr. David Kennedy: It would be nice if it would stop, but no, it actually continues to... there's huge amounts of exposure the day it's placed. That's called a bolus does, just, you know like a POW, hits your immune system with just a ton of mercury that day. And that also can happened if they're not removed carefully. You don't want to do that. But what happens after that is the amount of release drops off, but it never goes to zero. And every time you chew on it after that, or stimulate it with a toothbrush, or hot coffee or any kind of stimulation makes the mercury come off again. And it stays coming off for about an hour and an hour and a half later it drops down. And then you have something else to eat and so you're on this roller coaster of little puffs of mercury coming off the filling. It's not constant, but you can take a mercury filling, brand new mercury filling, make it up, set it in a drawer, let it sit for three months. Wish we could do that with our own teeth. And then put it in a little glass of water and measure the amount of mercury that comes off at room temperature in a glass of water and it exceeds the EPA standard, for us, daily, from one filling, in a glass of water. So the likelihood that you're not getting exposed to a lot more than that because you're brushing, chewing, especially hot pizza, hot coffee and stuff like that.
The guy the figured out the heat thing, was Karl Savari (sp?). He was measuring the breath of dental students. And he was getting low numbers. And the girl at the end of the line.. she was going like... this is taking... and so she left. And she went across the street and got a pizza. And had lunch. Finished up lunch and picked up the box, didn't quite finish all the pizza, and she went back across the street. Dr. Savari's door was closed so she knocked on it. Karl came to the door and she said 'need another student?' He said, oh yeah, I just finished the last one. And she went right in and he went to measure her breath and her breath was so high in mercury it ruined his equipment. He's 'wooahh!'. What did you do? She said 'I went over and ate a pizza.' And he said, woah, gee, there must be mercury in the pizza. And they actually ground up the pizza and measured the mercury. No mercury in the pizza. Then they measured her breath again and after he reconstituted, he was doing gastro chromatography, and reconstituted, and it was still high but it was coming down. And they waited another hour and it went a little lower. And he says, what else was she doing? Chewing maybe. So he cut a little piece of rubber tubing off and he says 'chew this up.' So she chewed it up and he measured her breath again and it went right back up.
So, stimulation. That's called the 1981 chewing gum study. So he called all those other people back and had them chew gum and he found nice high levels. Or levels that would cause the EPA to evacuate the city.
Dr. David Kennedy discusses exposure to mercury and how long that lasts if you're exposed to it. He talks about whether or not it stops being toxic or if it continues for the lifetime of your exposure, particularly when it comes to fillings.
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