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Mercury fillings during pregnancy may not lead to low birth weight

There have been suggestions that using mercury for dental fillings in pregnant ladies may lead to babies born// with low birth weight. Scientists of University of Washington, Seattle, US had done a study that proves the theory otherwise.

1117 women who have given birth to lighter babies (less than 2.5kgs) were compared with 4468 women who had given birth to babies of normal birth weight, of 2.5kgs or more. 13% of the total women had undergone at least one dental restorative procedure during pregnancy, mercury or otherwise. They did not have increased risk of having babies with low birth weight. 4.9% of the women had mercury fillings during pregnancy. The risk for having babies with low birth weight was also not significant for them.

One of the most widely used dental fillings for patients with dental cavities is a silver amalgam filling. These are made of a combination of a wide range of metals like silver, mercury, tin, and copper. Recently however there had been increasing arguments against mercury of the fillings leaking into the blood cells of the body and may cause problems for pregnancy.

The new study allays the fear by providing evidence that there exists no risk for mothers to give birth to low birth weight babies after having a mercury based fillings during the pregnancy.

Reference: American Journal of Epidemiology, issue April 2005

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