The effect of Copalite coating on mercury release from dental amalgam following treatment with 10%, 20%, 30% and 40% carbamide peroxide was assessed in vitro, using a cold-vapour atomic absorption Mercury Analyzer System. Eighty samples of dental amalgam were automatically mixed in a dental amalgamator and condensed into silicon embedding molds. Forty amalgam samples were coated with three uniform layers of Copalite intermediary varnish and the other 40 samples were left uncoated. The coated and non-coated amalgam samples were exposed for 24 h to 10%, 20%, 30% or 40% carbamide peroxide preparations and compared with samples exposed to phosphate buffer. In the noncoated samples a significant increase of mercury concentration in solution was found following exposure to all carbamide peroxide preparations tested. Mercury concentration was directly related to carbamide peroxide concentration. In the Copalite-coated samples, significantly lo lower concentrations of mercury in solution were found as compared to the non-coated samples (P<0.01). In conclusion, exposure of amalgam restorations to 10%-40% carbamide peroxide-based bleaching agents increased the mercury release. Pre-coating of the external amalgam surfaces with Copalite significantly reduced the release of mercury.