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More than eight dental fillings can up mercury levels in blood

If you have one dental filling, maybe it's OK. But if you have more than eight dental fillings, the potential risk for adverse effect is higher

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Dental fillings. Wikimedia
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September 28, 2016: Tooth decay is one of the most prevalent chronic diseases worldwide. Dental amalgam — the fillings used for surface restorations consisting of a mixture of mercury, silver, tin and other metals — may significantly increase mercury levels in the body, a study has found.

Dental amalgam has been the go-to dental filling material for more than 150 years, because it is affordable and durable.

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However, about half of the compound contains mercury, a heavy metal known to be toxic at high levels, causing brain, heart, kidney, lung and immune system damage, the researchers said.

“If you have one dental filling, maybe it’s OK. But if you have more than eight dental fillings, the potential risk for adverse effect is higher,” said Xiaozhong “John” Yu, Assistant Professor at the University of Georgia.

Individuals with more than eight fillings had about 150 per cent more mercury in their blood than those with none.

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Yu said this result suggests the human gut microbiota — a collection of micro-organisms living in the intestines — may transform different forms of mercury.

Further, the study found that a significant increase in methyl mercury, the most toxic form of mercury, is also related to dental fillings.

This methyl mercury may cause damage even at low levels, the researchers warned.

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In addition, the researchers also looked at dental composite resins, a mercury-free alternative for dental fillings that can release small amounts of bisphenol A, or BPA, which may cause developmental or reproductive damage.

The research, which analysed data from nearly 15,000 individuals, was the first to control for age, education, ethnicity, race, gender, smoking and seafood consumption — a known contributor to mercury levels in the body.

The results were published online in the journal Ecotoxicology and Environmental Safety. (IANS)

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Aadhaar Helpline Mystery: French Security Expert Tweets of doing a Full Disclosure Tomorrow about Code of the Google SetUP Wizard App

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Google not to offer controversial face recognition technology. Wikimedia Commons

Google’s admission that it had in 2014 inadvertently coded the 112 distress number and the UIDAI helpline number into its setup wizard for Android devices triggered another controversy on Saturday as India’s telecom regulator had only recommended the use of 112 as an emergency number in April 2015.

After a large section of smartphone users in India saw a toll-free helpline number of UIDAI saved in their phone-books by default, Google issued a statement, saying its “internal review revealed that in 2014, the then UIDAI helpline number and the 112 distress helpline number were inadvertently coded into the SetUp wizard of the Android release given to OEMs for use in India and has remained there since”.

Aadhaar Helpline Number Mystery: French security expert tweets of doing a full disclosure tomorrow about Code of the Google SetUP Wizard App, Image: Wikimedia Commons.

However, the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) recommended only in April 2015 that the number 112 be adopted as the single emergency number for the country.

According to Google, “since the numbers get listed on a user’s contact list, these get  transferred accordingly to the contacts on any new device”.

Google was yet to comment on the new development.

Meanwhile, French security expert that goes by the name of Elliot Alderson and has been at the core of the entire Aadhaar controversy, tweeted on Saturday: “I just found something interesting. I will probably do full disclosure tomorrow”.

“I’m digging into the code of the @Google SetupWizard app and I found that”.

“As far as I can see this object is not used in the current code, so there is no implications. This is just a poor coding practice in term of security,” he further tweeted.

On Friday, both the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) as well as the telecom operators washed their hand of the issue.

While the telecom industry denied any role in the strange incident, the UIDAI said that he strange incident, the UIDAI said that some vested interests were trying to create “unwarranted confusion” in the public and clarified that it had not asked any manufacturer or telecom service provider to provide any such facility.

Twitter was abuzz with the new development after a huge uproar due to Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) Chairman R.S. Sharma’s open Aadhaar challenge to critics and hackers.

Ethical hackers exposed at least 14 personal details of the TRAI Chairman, including mobile numbers, home address, date of birth, PAN number and voter ID among others. (IANS)

Also Read: Why India Is Still Nowhere Near Securing Its Citizens’ Data?