Health and environmental professionals can agree that mercury is a well-known neurotoxin and should be kept out of our waste water systems. However, most dentists in the US currently do not use an amalgam separator – a device that captures mercury before water is released into public water treatment works and sewers.
To educate consumers in making healthy and environmentally responsible decisions, TALKInternational.com has released a list of questions for consumers to ask their own dentist about how mercury is being handled in their dental office.
“Dental amalgam waste is a significant contributor of mercury discharges to municipal wastewater treatment facilities,” according to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Once mercury is discharged to the environment, it converts to methylmercury, a very toxic form, and bioaccumulates in fish. Dental offices have been found to be responsible for approximately 40% of mercury in public water treatment plants.
Dental amalgam separators are relatively inexpensive and typically 99% effective in preventing the release of over 5 tons of mercury into the environment each year. According to the recent EPA ruling, effective July 14, 2017, new dental offices will be required to install an amalgam separator, and existing dental offices have until 2020 to comply with the rule.
Before your next visit to the dentist, you may want to ask:
1. Do you currently have an amalgam separator installed in your office? Don’t be afraid to ask your dentist to be responsible for removal of the mercury waste created by the dental office – sooner, rather than later. Three years is a long time and a lot of mercury.
2. If mercury is not allowed in the sewer systems, why is it being implanted in our mouths? The dangers of dental amalgam have been well researched and documented. However, 45% of dentists still place dental amalgam, resulting in hundreds of thousands of toxic mercury fillings being placed every day. The adverse effect of mercury in dentistry has been thoroughly covered by James E. Rota, DDS, in “Mirror of the Body – Your Mouth Reflects the Health of Your Whole Body.”
3. When the dentist removes mercury fillings, what is done to protect me and the staff from mercury vapor? During dental procedures involving placing or removing mercury fillings, the amount of mercury vapor released drastically exceeds OSHA limits, as demonstrated in the documentary, “Evidence of Harm.”
Biological dentists have been ahead of the curve for decades by recognizing the toxicity of mercury in dentistry. Anyone considering having “silver” mercury fillings removed from their teeth are urged to ensure that procedure is performed by a dentist that adheres to the safe mercury removal protocols developed by biological dentistry organizations like IAOMT or IABDM.