NEWMOA - P2Rx™ Topic Hubs™
 
Pollution
Prevention
Mercury IMERC Solid
Waste
Hazardous
Waste
Waste Site
Cleanup
ERP About
NEWMOA
 
About Links Publications Workgroups
NEWMOA Logo
site map    member login
Pollution Prevention & Sustainability P2Rx Info Resources Topic Hubs
 
 
Archived: P2Rx no longer updates the narrative information, however the links are maintained.

Browse by Keyword

Mercury-Dental: Background and Overview
Table of Contents
Background and Overview
Operations
Reasons for Change
P2 Opportunities
Mercury Reduction Programs
Where To Go for Help
Complete List of Links

Essential Links:

Mercury Use: Dentists
Comprehensive study of the use of mercury in dental offices including amalgam, lamps, switches, etc....

The Environmentally Responsible Dental Office: A Guide to Proper Waste Management in Dental Offices
Written for dentists, dental assistants, and office staff. Contains simple ideas for preventing the...


The most common use of mercury in dental operations is the dental amalgam. Dental amalgam is a direct filling material used in restoring teeth. It is made up of approximately 40-50% mercury, 25% silver and 25-35% a mixture of copper, zinc and tin. The total amount of mercury per amalgam can range from 327-982 mg depending on the size of the amalgam. The U.S. Department of the Interior estimated that 31 metric tons of mercury was purchased in the U.S. for use in dental equipment and supplies in 1996. A 1998 survey by the Metropolitan Council Environmental Services (the Publicly-Owned Treatment Works facility for Minneapolis-St. Paul) revealed that 83% of the 1069 dentists surveyed use amalgam.

Amalgam particles enter the wastewater from dental offices when dentists remove old amalgam fillings or place new fillings. Estimates of the contribution of mercury in wastewater from dentists to publicly-owned treatment works range from 11% (San Francisco) to 14% (King County, WA) to 76-80% (Minneapolis) of the total mercury load. In its "Mercury Study: Report to Congress," the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency estimated that 0.7 tons of mercury per year are emitted to the environment from "dental preparations."

In order to reduce the amount of mercury emitted from dental facilities, many states in the U.S. are implementing voluntary educational and mercury collection programs. Some dental associations have assisted in these efforts, favoring voluntary programs over additional regulation.



Sources: Water Environment Federation, "Controlling Dental Facility Discharges in Wastewater: How to Develop and Administer a Source Control Program," 1999; U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, "Mercury Study: Report to Congress, Volume I, Executive Summary," 1997.


 

The Topic Hub™ is a product of the Pollution Prevention Resource Exchange (P2Rx)

The Mercury-Dental Topic Hub™ was developed by:

Northeast Waste Management Officials' Association
Northeast Waste Management Officials' Association
Contact email: abray@newmoa.org

Hub Last Updated: 1/8/2013

 

 

Last Modified 10/04/2011

Home  |  Pollution Prevention  |  Mercury  |  IMERC  |  Solid Waste
Hazardous Waste  |  Waste Site Cleanup  |  About NEWMOA  |  NEWMOA Members

Copyright 2014 NEWMOA, Northeast Waste Management Officials' Association
129 Portland Street, Suite 602; Boston, MA 02114-2014;
ph (617) 367-8558 | TTY (800) 439-2370
All Rights Reserved
Comments contact: .