International Journal of Experimental Dental Science

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VOLUME 1 , ISSUE 2 ( July-December, 2012 ) > List of Articles


Mercury Accumulation in Fish: The Potential Effect of Dental Amalgam Wastewater

Tiago Novaes Pinheiro, Alberto Consolaro, Alice Sakuma, Marcia Liane Buzzo, Marcia Sena de Carvalho, Maria Cristina Duran

Citation Information : Pinheiro TN, Consolaro A, Sakuma A, Buzzo ML, Carvalho MS, Duran MC. Mercury Accumulation in Fish: The Potential Effect of Dental Amalgam Wastewater. Int J Experiment Dent Sci 2012; 1 (2):75-80.

DOI: 10.5005/jp-journals-10029-1019

Published Online: 01-12-2014

Copyright Statement:  Copyright © 2012; The Author(s).



Dental amalgam discharge in the wastewater stream is a potential source of mercury (Hg) that may contaminate the soil, water and wildlife, once released without safety measures. This study aimed the total Hg accumulation in fish Carassius auratus comparing different water environments: Water from the Tietê river basin close to the metropolitan area of Bauru, Brazil; tap water contaminated with 0.5 gm/l load of dental amalgam and tap water was used as control.

Study design

Fish were kept in glass aquaria, each water environment consisted of 25 specimens. The inner organs and muscles were sampled at 1 hour and 28 days for total Hg accumulation analysis. Also, water samples were analyzed at 1 hour, 7, 14, 21 and 28 days through cold vapor atomic absorption spectrometry.


Only the fish kept at water from the Tietê river and contaminated tap water had Hg detected on its sampled tissues. The highest median levels were found in inner organs: 12.36 mg/kg–Tietê river and 262.64 mg/kg–contaminated tap water. The lowest median concentrations were found in muscles: 0.13 mg/kg–Tietê river and 0.54 mg/kg–contaminated tap water.


These findings alert to the potential environmental risks of dental amalgam waste discharge.

How to cite this article

Pinheiro TN, Consolaro A, Sakuma A, Buzzo ML, de Carvalho MS, Duran MC. Mercury Accumulation in Fish: The Potential Effect of Dental Amalgam Wastewater. Int J Experiment Dent Sci 2012;1(2):75-80.

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