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- Environmental and Toxicological Concerns of Dental Amalgam and Mercury (PDF Format, 1.2 MB)
Abstract: An evaluation of mercury emission estimates from dental sources indicates that reported emissions have been significantly underestimated. U.S. mercury emissions from dental sources probably range from about 6 to 12 tons annually, significantly different from the 0.6 tons recently reported by the EPA. Mercury emissions from dental sources include mercury released from dental offices, mercury released from household sewage and mercury emissions from crematories. A review of mercury environmental chemistry and mercury toxicity is presented, with a particular emphasis on mercury encountered at the dental operatory. Increasing public sensitivity towards environmental mercury is driving increased mercury regulatory efforts and a listing of current U.S. mercury regulations is presented. Finally, a summary of prudent practices at the dental office is presented which would eliminate or minimize dental discharges of mercury into the environment.
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