Reducing Dental Mercury Emissions: Installing Amalgam Separators and Achieving Compliance
"Elemental mercury and most of its compounds are extremely toxic substances that
can cause chronic and acute poisoning in human beings who come into contact with them. Mercury is categorized as an exogenous neurotoxin, because it acts specifically on the brain and nervous system when ingested. The health problems that are most commonly associated with mercury poisoning include oral lesions, birth defects, chronic illnesses, mental disorders, autoimmune disorders, neurodegenerative diseases, erythrism, and multiple sclerosis. Young children and unborn fetuses are particularly susceptible to mercury poisoning.
Today, in addition to direct air emissions, the improper disposal of mercury-containing wastes
by industries, clinics and others who use it has greatly contributed to dangerously high contamination levels in many of the country’s water bodies. Once in wastewater, mercury is further diffused in the environment in several ways: it enters the atmosphere when mercuryladen biosolids are incinerated; it penetrates the land when it is used as fertilizer or deposited in landfills, and it pollutes fresh water bodies when inadequately treated wastewater is discharged into wastewater treatment plant effluent or when untreated wastewater is discharged from combined
from sewer outfalls during high flow storm events..."