Background of Dental Waste Management Practices
As many of us know, the issue of mercury discharges from amalgam waste impacts nearly every dental office. Research in the United States and other countries has repeatedly demonstrated that dental offices play a significant role in releasing mercury into the environment. Furthermore, the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) reported that in[...]
Mercury emissions into the environment, and their concomitant ability to produce disease in humans, have been at the forefront of recent efforts to eliminate the use of dental amalgam as a restorative material. Such a total ban on use is imprudent as the populace of many economically poorer countries simply can’t afford newer materials and technologies.
As a long-term practicing dentist, I have been continually mindful of the potential impacts dentistry can have on the environment. It is for this reason that I have been steadfast in my commitment to properly handling and disposing of all amalgam waste generated at my practice. I have been utilizing an amalgam separator since 2011 and have consequently prevented 2.3 lbs. of mercury from entering the local wastewater system.[...]