Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS) are required by the U.S. Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA) to be readily available in the workplace to define potential harm or risk to health and life and actions to mitigate risk for those in contact with workplace exposures. The MSDS for dental amalgam include the following warnings:
?Routes of entry:
Skin: Irritant/Sensitizer/Neurotoxin/ Nephrotoxin. Mercury may be absorbed through intact skin causing urinary problems.
Eyes: Mercury is corrosive and may cause corneal injury or burns. Mercury may be deposited in the lens of the eye, causing visual disturbances.
Inhalation: Acute: Inhalation of mercury vapor can cause cough, fever, nausea, and vomiting. Chronic: Inhalation of high concentrations of mercury vapor over a long period causes mercurialism. Findings are extremely variable and include tremors, salivation, stomatitis, loosening of teeth, blue lines on gums, and pain and numbness in extremities.
Ingestion: Acute: May cause nausea, vomiting, kidney damage, and nerve effects. Chronic: Symptoms include Central Nervous System disorders. May cause neurotoxic/nephrotoxic effects. Precautions if spilled: Isolate the area and clean up immediately. Do not touch spilled material. Avoid breathing of vapors. Highly toxic irritant sensitizer. Is known to the State of California to cause birth defects or other reproductive harm.?
Considering that less toxic alternatives are available for filling cavities, both scientists and informed consumers remain incredulous that controversy still exists about the continued, intentional use of mercury in dentistry.