In 2004, the EPA estimated that 55%, or 1008 tons, of approximately 2000 tons of all elemental mercury used in commerce today in the U.S. is found in amalgam fillings. An additional 34 tons of mercury is added to that total each year by the placement of new amalgam fillings. Apart from being a substantial amount of mercury, what is significant here is that the dental office is the only workplace environment using this substance in an unregulated manner. There's more.
Of interest here is an Association Report by the Amercican Dental Association (ADA) Council on Scientific Affairs: Dental Mercury Hygiene Recommendations (J Am Dent Assoc, Vol 134, No 11, 1498-1499 © 2003 American Dental Association). The ADA lists a number of sources of mercury exposure at the dental office, including polishing or removal of amalgam. It also recommends that all personnel involved in the handling of mercury and dental amalgam be trained in the potential hazards of mercury vapor and the necessity of observing good mercury hygiene.
Among the ADA's many recommendations for dealing with mercury at the dental office are the following: Don't use carpet. Remove professional clothing before leaving the workplace. Avoid contact with the skin. Use high-volume evacuation systems (fitted with traps or filters) when finishing or removing amalgams. Never pour mercury, or allow it to go, down the drain.
While we cover these and many other protective protocols we are in agreement with what the ADA suggests regarding mercury. You can access the information provided by the ADA by Clicking Here.
"Mercury Safe Dentistry: The Future of Dentistry."
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