Dear Granito,


Thank you for your request of 18 February 2014 under the Freedom of Information Act (2000).  Your exact request was:


“Please provide details about the physical and chemical/metal/alloy properties of Mercury amalgam used by the NHS in 1996 as a restorative material in dental surgical procedures.


Please include data about NHS use of biocides as sealer's when mercury amalgam was used in 1996:


1.The name of manufacturer(s)

2.The name of each substance in the product including the name of it's active substance and the amount of each substance as a percentage of the whole.

3.The classification of the biocidal/heavy metal/alloy product.

4.Particulars of any likely direct or indirect adverse side effects.

5.Procedures to be followed and measures to be taken in the case of spillage or leakage of the biocidal product and the active substance contained in that biocidal product.


Is the NHS currently using mercury amalgam as a restorative material for pulp cavity fillings.”


Section 8 of the Freedom of Information Act permits a public body to refuse a request for information if a valid name is not supplied with the request. Please note that future requests may be refused if you do not supply a full name.


I can confirm that the Department does not hold the information you have requested.


It is up to individual providers to ensure that the materials they use comply with all national standards and are fit for purpose. Dental amalgam is an acceptable material for use in NHS Dentistry; however, the dental regulations do not state the clinical situations where it can be used. The Department does not collect information on the use of dental amalgam as a restorative material for pulp cavity fillings.


However, you may wish to contact any relevant NHS authority directly. 


Contact details for all NHS authorities can be found on the NHS Choices website:




If you have any queries about this email, please contact me. Please remember to quote the reference number above in any future communications.


If you are dissatisfied with the handling of your request, you have the right to ask for an internal review. Internal review requests should be submitted within two months of the date of receipt of the response to your original letter and should be addressed to:


Head of the Freedom of Information Team

Department of Health

Room 520

Richmond House

79 Whitehall




Email: xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx@xx.xxx.xxx.xx  


If you are not content with the outcome of your complaint, you may apply directly to the Information Commissioner (ICO) for a decision. Generally, the ICO cannot make a decision unless you have exhausted the complaints procedure provided by the Department. The ICO can be contacted at:


The Information Commissioner's Office
Wycliffe House
Water Lane


Yours sincerely,


Jonathan Young


Freedom of Information Officer
Department of Health