If you have a filling in your mouth, stay away from an MRI machine. A new study has found that these high-powered scanners can suck the mercury out of your fillings because of their strong magnetic field.
The study appeared Tuesday in Radiology.
Study authors claim that they found dangerously high levels of mercury in the blood of patients who had undergone an MRI scan. Patients and healthcare professionals with fillings are the most at risk.
Dentists use mercury in dental fillings to fix the cavities caused by decay. The cavities are plugged with amalgam, a mix of chemicals. Around half of the amalgam is mercury, which is known to be neurotoxic.
Mercury is necessary because it can easily bound with the tooth and hardens when other chemicals are applied. Dentists assure patients that mercury leakages don’t happen. However, MRI scanners’ strong magnetic field can lead to a leakage.
The Newest MRI Machines Can Poison You
The newer machines are the most dangerous as they can generate a magnetic field of seven Tesla. Usually, an MRI scanner produces a 1.5-3 Tesla magnetic field.
Study authors used artificial cavities that had fillings to test the new machines. The teeth were immersed in a solution that mimicked saliva. Each tooth was kept 20 minutes in an MRI machine.
Scientists found that the levels of mercury in the “saliva” of the teeth kept in an MRI machine that produced 7-Tesla magnetic fields were four times higher than the levels of mercury in the solution kept in conventional MRI scanners. Authors noted that the level of mercury was not safe.
It is unclear how much of the metal is absorbed by the body. Researchers are concerned that these more powerful machines can put medical staff at risk too.
Image Source: Pixabay
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