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High mercury emissions from dental clinics despite amalgam separators

High mercury emissions from dental clinics despite amalgam separators,10.1016/j.scitotenv.2005.06.008,Science of The Total Environment,Lars D. Hylande

High mercury emissions from dental clinics despite amalgam separators   (Citations: 13)
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Mercury (Hg) as amalgam has been used as a dental filling material for more than 150 years. Thereby, dentists and their patients have been directly exposed to Hg, and the public and the environment indirectly exposed via Hg emissions from incinerators and Hg in waste water from households and dental clinics. Due to the toxic properties of Hg and bioaccumulation in biota of Hg emitted via dental clinic waste water, amalgam separators were introduced in Sweden in the 1980s. Although these amalgam separators in the certification process are required to remove at least 95% of incoming Hg in a standardized laboratory test, their efficiency in practical use has not been properly investigated. Here we present actual Hg emissions via waste water from 12 dental clinics equipped with the same type of amalgam separator based on sedimentation. All waste water was collected for four consecutive working days, initially at ordinary operating conditions and a second time after a thorough revision and cleaning of the discharge system. The results indicate that mercury emissions from dental clinics can be reduced by an improved design of the discharge system, a sensible use of high pressure water cleaning, and regular maintenance, including replacement of amalgam separators and filters at certain intervals. The study also indicates that banning Hg in dentistry is the one long-term way to stop Hg emissions from dental amalgam.
Journal: Science of The Total Environment - SCI TOTAL ENVIR , vol. 362, no. 1, pp. 74-84, 2006
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    • ...Mercury contamination in the environment is mostly due to anthropogenic activities, as chemical, paper, electrical, pharmaceutical, coal, waste, medical, and agriculture industries (Mirlean et al. 2008; Bash and Miller 2007; Hylander et al. 2006)...

    Irenus Tazisonget al. Mercury Concentration and Distribution in Soils Impacted by Long-Term ...

    • ...These include the pharmaceutical, paper, electric, and chemical industries (Zhang and Wong 2007), coal combustion and waste incineration (Seigneur et al. 2004), mercury and gold extractions, smelters (Castilhos et al. 1998; Gemici and Tarcan 2007), medical institutions, agriculture, and forestry practices (Porvari et al. 2003; Hylander et al. 2006; Bash and Miller 2007)...

    Nicolai Mirleanet al. Mercury Contamination of Soil as the Result of Long-Term Phosphate Fer...

    • ...Many researches conducted showed that a variety of human activities could lead to environmental contamination by Hg. These activities include the pharmaceutical, paper, electric and chemical industries (Zhang and Wong 2007), coal combustion and waste incineration (Seigneur et al. 2004), mercury and gold extractions, smelters (Gemici and Tarcan 2007), agriculture and forestry practices (Hylander et al. 2006; Bash and Miller 2007)...

    Yaoguo Wuet al. Heavy metals pollution and the identification of their sources in soil...

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