Mercury-filling safety report under scrutiny


ATLANTA - Mercury in dental fillings has not been proved to cause kidney, brain or immune system damage, as critics charge, says a report funded by the National Institutes of Health.

But the report is being released today under controversy. The NIH is investigating whether its dentistry institute improperly awarded the research contract, allegedly to uphold the American Dental Association's stance that mercury fillings are safe.

The Life Sciences Research Office, a Washington-based nonprofit group, conducted the research on behalf of the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research.

Mercury filling critics, including at least one U.S. senator, say the NIDCR issued the contract without proper bidding.

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