The amounts of copper, mercury, silver or zinc released from two brands of freshly prepared, lathe cut amalgams and from one brand of dispersed phase type amalgam into artificial saliva have been measured. Samples were immersed in the solution a few minutes after the end of trituration and exposed statically for periods of up to about 4 days. The initial mercury release from such specimens could exceed the long term mercury release from old amalgams by more than two orders of magnitude. The measurements indicate that during the first day after insertion of two amalgam fillings, each with an assumed surface area of 1 cm2 and under presumably static conditions, mercury at the level of more than twice the mercury food and drink intake could be released in the oral cavity. This is, however, a situation which appears infrequently, e.g. following dental treatment once a year. The amounts of copper and zinc released initially were considerably lower than the corresponding food and drink intake values, while silver might be on the same level. The measurements were conducted using nuclear tracer techniques.