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Mercury present in certain dental fillings may affect the health of pregnant women and children, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has said.
The silver-colored fillings - or dental amalgams - could have "neurotoxic effects on the nervous systems of developing children and fetuses," the body stated, according to Reuters.
Those most at risk are pregnant women and people who have a heightened sensitivity to mercury, the agency explained, adding that these individuals should "discuss options" with their dentist.
However, the FDA did not advise those who already have the mercury dental fillings to replace them.
Statistics from the American Dental Association reveal that less than one-third (30 percent) of fillings contained mercury in 2003, while the rest were made of glass cement, porcelain or gold.
The FDA is set to issue new regulations about the use of metal fillings in July 2009.
In 2006, a study led by a team at the England Research Institutes determined that there were no harmful effects of mercury fillings.
© 2008 Brafton Inc.
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