Why HOB uses well-known useless quack tests of dental amalgam mercury poisoning?

Mr Clarke made this Rhyddid Gwybodaeth request to Heart of Birmingham Teaching Primary Care Trust (PCT)

This request has been closed to new correspondence from the public body. Contact us if you think it ought be re-opened.

Heart of Birmingham Teaching Primary Care Trust (PCT) Nid oedd gan y wybodaeth y gofynnwyd amdani.

Dear Heart of Birmingham Teaching Primary Care Trust (PCT),

1. Given that it has been well-established and well-known for decades that blood mercury level and urine mercury level are useless as indicators of chronic mercury toxification (as documented below)....

Why did the toxicologists of the HOBtPCT / the City Hospital in Birmingham propose in 2010/11 these well-known useless tests in respect of a patient presenting substantial evidence of being disabled by dental amalgams?

2. What scientific or evidential basis existed to justify such proposals?

3. From where did the HOBtPCT toxicologists get that notion of usefulness of those blood and urine tests? Where did that notion originate?

4. What worthwhile purpose could be served by those tests given that the patient already had reported extraordinarily high mercury vapour measurements of 460 mcg/m3 (unprovoked, open mouth) (a world record level, about 100x higher than typical levels)?


Goldwater et al. (1964) stated:
“Those investigators who have studied the subject are in almost unanimous agreement that there is a poor correlation between the urinary excretion of mercury and the occurrence of demonstrable evidence of poisoning.”

and a joint statement of the National Institute of Dental Health and the American Dental Association (NIDH/ADA, 1984) stated in 1984 that:
“The distribution of mercury into the body tissues is highly variable and there appears to be little correlation between levels in urine, blood or hair and toxic effects.”

And later studies have further confirmed that conclusion. Even with normal or low mercury levels in blood, hair and urine, high mercury levels are found in critical organs such as brain and kidney (Danscher et al., 1990; Drasch, 1997; Hahn et al. 1989, 1990, Hargeaves et al., 1988; Lorscheider et al., 1995; Opitz et al., 1996; Vimy et al., 1990; Weiner & Nylander, 1993). Drasch et al. (2001, 2002, 2004) found that 64% of individuals occupationally exposed to mercury vapor and having typical clinical signs of mercury intoxication had low mercury levels in blood. A more recent autopsy study again confirmed the lack of correlation between inorganic (e.g. dental) mercury levels in urine or blood and mercury levels in brain (Björkman et al. 2007).

Bjorkman L, Lundekvam BF, Laegreid T, Bertelsen BI, Morild I, Lilleng P. 2007. Mercury in human brain, blood, muscle and toenails in relation to exposure: an autopsy study. Environ Health 6:30.
Danscher G, Hørsted-Bindsley P, Rungby J. 1990. Traces of mercury in organs from primates with amalgam fillings. Exp Mol Pathol 52:291-299.
Drasch G, Wanghofer E, Roider G. 1997. Are blood, urine, hair, and muscle valid bio-monitoring parameters for the internal burden of men with the heavy metals mercury, lead and cadmium? Trace Elem Electrolyt 14:116-123.
Drasch G, Böse-O'Reilly S, Beinhoff C, Roider G, Maydl S. 2001. The Mt. Diwata study on the Philippines 1999 - assessing mercury intoxication of the population by small scale gold mining. Sci Total Environ 267:151-168.
Drasch G, Böse-O`Reilly S, Maydl S, Roider G. 2002. Scientific comment on the German human biological monitoring values (HBM values) for mercury. Int J Hyg Environ Health 205:509-512.
Drasch G, Böse-O'Reilly S, Maydl S, Roider G. 2004. Response to the letter of the Human Biomonitoring Commission. Int J Hyg Environ Health 207:83-184.
Goldwater, L.J. Ladd, A.C. and Jacobs, M.B. 1964. Absorption and Excretion of Mercury in Man; VII Significance of mercury in Blood. Arch Envir Health. 9:735-741.
Hahn LJ, Kloiber R, Vimy MJ, Takahashi Y, Lorscheider FL. 1989. Dental "silver" tooth fillings: a source of mercury exposure revealed by whole-body image scan and tissue analysis. FASEB Journal 3:2641-2646.
Hahn LJ, Kloiber R, Leininger RW, Vimy MJ, Lorscheider FL. 1990. Whole-body imaging of the distribution of mercury released from dental fillings into monkey tissues. FASEB Journal 4:3256-3260.
Hargreaves RJ, Evans JG, Janota I, Magos L, Cavanagh JB. 1988. Persistant mercury in nerve cells 16 years after metallic mercury poisoning. Neuropath Appl Neurobiol 14:443-452.
Lorscheider FL, Vimy MJ, Summers AO. 1995. Mercury exposure from "silver" tooth fillings: emerging evidence questions a traditional dental paradigm. FASEB Journal 9:504-508.
NIDH/ADA Workshop on Biocompatibility of Metals. 1984. J Am Dent Assoc 109, September 1984.
Opitz H, Schweinsberg F, Grossmann T, Wendt-Gallitelli MF, Meyermann R. 1996. Demonstration of mercury in the human brain and other organs 17 years after metallic mercury exposure. Clin Neuropath 15:139-144.
Vimy MJ, Takahashi Y, Lorscheider FL. 1990. Maternal-fetal distribution of mercury (203 Hg) released from dental amalgam fillings. Am J Physiol 258:939-945.
Weiner JA, Nylander M. 1993. The relationship between mercury concentration in human organs and different predictor variables. Sci Tot Environ 138:101-115.

Yours faithfully,
Mr Clarke

FOI HOB (HEART OF BIRMINGHAM TEACHING PCT), Heart of Birmingham Teaching Primary Care Trust (PCT)

Dear Mr Clarke

Thank you for your request for information which has been submitted under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA).

Heart of Birmingham tPCT acknowledges receipt of your request for information attached below and confirms that this is now receiving action. A response will be sent to you within the next 20 working days in accordance to the FOIA. We will notify you as soon as it comes to our attention if this may not be possible.

In some circumstances a fee maybe payable. If this is the case, a fees notice will be issued to you which will need to be paid before the request is responded to.

The reference number for your request which will be required for any correspondance is 152/2011-12.

Rebecca Hough
Freedom of Information Officer
Heart of Birmingham tPCT
Bartholomew House
142 Hagley Road
B16 9PA

Tel: 0121 255 0700
DDI: 0121 225 0860
Fax: 0121 224 4773


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FOI HOB (HEART OF BIRMINGHAM TEACHING PCT), Heart of Birmingham Teaching Primary Care Trust (PCT)

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Dear Mr Clarke.


Thank you for your request for information.


Please see the PCT response attached.


Under the Re-use of Public Sector Information Regulations 2005 Act,
sections 4 and 12, Heart of Birmingham tPCT imposes conditions on the
information provided and withholds permission for you to re-use this
information provided. 


Kind regards


Rebecca Hough

Freedom of Information Officer

Heart of Birmingham tPCT

Bartholomew House, 142 Hagley Road

Birmingham, B16 9PA

Tel: 0121 255 0860


If you are unhappy with the way your request for information has been
treated, you can request a review by contacting:


Jill Whitehouse

Corporate Service Manager

Heart of Birmingham tPCT

Bartholomew House, 142 Hagley Road


B16 9PA

[email address]


If you further remain dissatisfied with the handling of your request
following the trusts review, you have the right to appeal to the
Information Commissioner at:


The Information Commissioner’s Office

Wycliffe House,

Water Lane,

Wimslow, Cheshire,

SK9 5AF. 

Tel: 08456 30 60 60 or 01625 54 57 45

Website: [1]www.ico.gov.uk

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