PING: CZ, Do you like apples ?

Discussion in 'Health and medical' started by W_b, Apr 5, 2004.

  1. W_b

    W_b Guest

    The facts about the Hg load are in the news today.

    The major worldwide Hg load contributors are:

    Forest fires and Volcanoes 55% China industries 22%

    American coal burning electrical plants contribute <1% to
    the *global* Hg environmental load.

    How do you like them apples ?

    --

    W_B

    Take out the G'RBAGE
    [email protected]
     
    Tags:


  2. Jan

    Jan Guest

    >Subject: PING: CZ, Do you like apples ?
    >From: W_B [email protected]
    >Date: 4/5/2004 9:11 PM Pacific Standard Time
    >Message-id: <[email protected]>
    >
    >
    >The facts about the Hg load are in the news today.
    >
    >The major worldwide Hg load contributors are:
    >
    >Forest fires and Volcanoes 55% China industries 22%
    >
    >American coal burning electrical plants contribute <1% to
    >the *global* Hg environmental load.
    >
    >How do you like them apples ?

    methinks you are trying to excuse the dentists.

    http://tuberose.com/Mercury_Disposal.html

    Dental Mercury Disposal Metal Detoxification The Scientific
    Case Against Amalgam Homocysteine Redox Find A Mercury-Free
    Dentist Truth Decay Book ...if they have as few as 4 amalgam
    fillings present in their mouth, the average person's saliva
    is so high in mercury they cannot legally spit into the
    toilet. Their saliva exceeds the EPA maximum legal municipal
    discharge standard for mercury..--David Kennedy D.D.S.

    http://www.toxicteeth.org/pressRoom_releases_031903_pol-
    luters.cfm

    THE NATION Dentists Biggest Mercury Polluters, New Study
    Finds Health: The metal is widely used in fillings and ends
    up in the nation's waste water. By ELIZABETH SHOGREN TIMES
    STAFF WRITER June 6, 2002

    WASHINGTON - Coal-fired power plants are notorious for being
    the biggest source of mercury pollution in the air. But now,
    new attention is being directed at another, much less known
    source of mercury contamination in water--dentists.

    A new report shows that dentists are the largest single
    source of mercury pollution in waste water funneled into the
    nation's treatment plants.

    Mercury is a potent toxin that can damage the human brain,
    spinal cord, kidney and liver, and is especially dangerous
    for unborn children. While many other sources of mercury
    pollution have drastically cut their use of the heavy metal,
    dentists continue to use it widely in fillings.

    "Pretty much all the mercury they're using gets released
    into the environment. Why aren't they doing more to reduce
    that use?" said Michael Bender, director of the Mercury
    Policy Project, a foundation-funded group that was one of
    the authors of the study.

    Power plants emit mercury into the air and it falls into
    streams and rivers. Many dentists flush it down their drains
    and it goes directly into waste-water treatment plants,
    which do not effectively filter it from the water.

    In a statement responding to the report, the American Dental
    Assn. said it was aware that some particles from fillings
    end up in waste water, and it urges dentists to follow
    proper procedures for handling and recycling the composite
    used for fillings, which they refer to as "amalgam." But the
    association argued that the mercury from their fillings
    remains in a form that is not harmful to humans.

    "However, a 1996 study found that when amalgam particles
    were subjected to simulated waste-water treatment processes,
    no soluble mercury was detected, even at a concentration of
    1 part per billion," according to the statement.

    The group stressed that it was currently implementing a new
    plan to address the problem.

    The new report's authors said that dentists, through
    voluntary or mandatory measures, should trap their waste
    mercury before it flows into plumbing fixtures that have
    been contaminated with mercury for years.

    The report referred to a 2001 study by the Assn. of
    Metropolitan Sewerage Agencies that evaluated seven major
    municipal waste-water treatment plants and determined that
    dental uses were "by far" the greatest contributors to the
    mercury reaching their facilities. They were responsible for
    40% of the load, three times more than the next largest
    contributor.

    Several other countries regulate releases of dental mercury.
    In Canada, a new standard requires dentists to trap the
    pieces of filling before they go down the drain. The goal is
    to reduce releases by 95% by 2005.

    In May, the New Hampshire Legislature became the first in
    the nation to pass legislation governing disposal methods
    for dental mercury.

    The California Assembly considered a measure to phase out
    the use of mercury in fillings but did not adopt it.

    The report suggests that mercury in dentistry has become the
    exception while other major users of mercury have changed
    their practices.

    In 1985 dental facilities used 3% of all the mercury used
    nationwide. Last year, although dentists used less mercury,
    their use accounted for 20% of all uses. Only two other industries--
    wiring devices and switches and chloralkali--used more.

    Gina Solomon, a physician who focuses on the health effects
    of mercury for the Natural Resources Defense Council, said
    that there was still controversy about whether the fillings
    put dental patients at risk. And she stressed that those who
    have such fillings should not get them removed, because
    taking them out heightens the chance of exposure.

    However, she said the science is clear that the mercury that
    goes down the drain can end up in the food chain.

    "There is scientific consensus that mercury that ends up in
    the waste water and water bodies will accumulate in the fish
    and pose a direct human health problem to people who eat the
    fish; that is uncontroversial and is something that can be
    fixed," Solomon said.

    If you want other stories on this topic, search the Archives
    at www.latimes.com/archive. For information about reprinting
    this article, go to www.lats.com/rights.

    Copyright 2002 Los Angeles Times

    http://tinyurl.com/279q5

    http://tinyurl.com/3apcv

    http://tinyurl.com/2cpaw

    Boston Globe Mercury Report Names Dentists As Major
    Polluters

    By Beth Daley, Boston Globe Staff

    http://boston.com/...

    The common dentist office practice of flushing old mercury-
    containing fillings down the drain makes dentists the single
    largest discharger of the toxic metal into the nation's
    wastewater treatment plants, according to a national study
    by a Boston-based public health group. Most of the mercury
    is eventually discharged into bodies of water.

    In a time that everyone from hospitals to coal-burning power
    plants are taking steps to reduce emissions of mercury,
    Health Care Without Harm, along with other environmental
    groups, is calling on dentists to follow suit. US dentists
    still use about 40 tons a year of mercury to make silver
    fillings. While the fillings may be fine for years in
    people's mouths, the report sponsors' say, they spend a much
    longer time in the environment, where they can break down.

    ''In the last seven years, hospitals in Greater Boston have
    reduced mercury pollution,'' said Bill Ravanesi, campaign
    director of Health Care Without Harm, one of the seven
    sponsors of the report ''Dentist The Menace?'' He is calling
    for dentists to use separation devices to capture the
    mercury before it is washed away.

    ***''Everyone is doing their part, but the dental industry
    hasn't reduced their pollution at all,''***** Ravanesi said.

    Mercury is a naturally occurring metal, but it can do nerve
    and brain damage in certain forms and harm fetuses if
    pregnant women ingest it. Alice in Wonderland's ''Mad
    Hatter'' was based on milliners who suffered from mental
    problems after using mercury to soften felt.

    For the past 150 years, dentists have used an inexpensive
    and durable amalgam of mercury, silver, tin, copper, and
    zinc to fill cavities, with mercury as the main ingredient.
    Critics for years have argued that people with mercury
    fillings can become ill, but the scientific community still
    considers the fillings safe to use.

    Although some dentists still use mercury-based fillings, the
    use of white plastic composites is increasing.

    There has been little discussion on the dangers of washed-
    away fillings until now.

    ****Yesterday, American Dental Association officials said
    the fillings pose little danger to the environment because
    the alloy doesn't break down.****

    (LIES from organized mdicine and dentistry)

    Officials there said they don't oppose in-office devices to
    prevent mercury from going down the drain, but said it's
    hardly necessary.

    ''It's a very stable material,'' said Dan Meyer, director of
    science for the American Dental Association. ''We have an
    ethical and moral obligation to do good, and we would never
    do anything to cause harm to the public.''

    (WOW!!!!)

    Do see:

    http://www.wholisticresearch.com/info/artshow.php3?artid=20

    Still, the report's sponsors, who include the Mercury Policy
    Project in Vermont and Clean Water Action in Boston, say
    evidence exists that the alloy does break down, releasing
    mercury into the environment. For around $50 a month, the
    report's author estimates, dentists could capture and
    recycle the mercury from old fillings.

    ''It can cost the price of a filling each month to fix,''
    said Michael Bender of the Mercury Policy Project and author
    of the report.

    New England is now one of the most aggressive in reducing
    mercury use. Two years ago, New Hampshire became the first
    state in the country to ban the use of mercury in
    thermometers. Last summer, Massachusetts public health
    officials urged young women and children under age 12 to
    stop eating most fish from the state's lakes and streams.
    Meanwhile, a first-of-its-kind mercury law in New Hampshire
    calls for rules for dentists to trap their mercury.

    In 1985, dentists were about the sixth-largest user of
    mercury, behind batteries and factories that use it to
    produce chlorine, paint, and measuring instruments,
    according to the report. Now, with mercury in many products
    outlawed, phased-out, or reduced, dentists are the third-
    largest user of mercury, behind the makers of wiring devices
    and switches, and chlorine. The report says dentists use
    about 44 tons of mercury each year, most of which is
    eventually released into the environment.

    ''To me, it's plain and simple,'' says G. Robert Evans, a
    dentist with West Newton Dental Associates. Evans said he
    gave up using mercury in fillings close to 20 years ago.
    ''It's going to accumulate in the environment if we don't
    keep it out. So I keep it out.''

    This story ran on page A3 of the Boston Globe on 6/5/2002.
    Copyright 2002 Globe Newspaper Company.

    http://www.epa.gov/toxteam/potwp2.htm

    http://www.fluoridealert.org/news/1102.html

    Massachusetts Dental Society "Honored" with Dirty
    Dozen Award

    Latest News from Massachusetts

    Fluoride concerns raised by W&S commissioner Fluoridation
    controversy in Longmeadow Water plant remains closed after
    fluoride malfunction Marlboro water flooded with fluoride
    Fluoridation Accident in Marlboro Read more news from
    Massachusetts


    Health Care Without Harm Wednesday 04 December 2002

    Massachusetts Dental Society "Honored" with Dirty Dozen
    Award Dentists Poisoning Waterways with Mercury

    Southborough - The Massachusetts Dental Society (MDS) today
    received a 2002 Dirty Dozen Award spotlighting it as one of
    the twelve top polluters in the Commonwealth for unregulated
    mercury discharges. In the process of restoring teeth with
    so-called "silver" fillings - actually 50% mercury -
    dentists nation wide use approximately 40 metric tons of
    mercury each year, most of which is eventually released into
    the environment.

    Mercury is a potent neurotoxin that can affect the brain,
    spinal cord, kidneys and liver. One in 10 reproductive-age
    American women carry enough mercury in their blood to pose a
    threat of neurological damage to the fetus if they got
    pregnant, according to a 2001 Centers for Disease Control &
    Prevention study.

    "While many other industries, including hospitals, are
    phasing out the use of mercury products, dentists continue
    to use large amounts of mercury and dispose of it
    improperly. We call on the MDS, and on dentists
    everywhere, to pledge to stop polluting our environment
    and endangering our health," said Tiffany Skogstrom of
    Health Care Without Harm.

    In 2001, the MDS signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU)
    with the Executive Office of Environmental Affairs (EOEA)
    for the ‘Reduction of the Release of Mercury’. The MOU
    focused on educational outreach to dentists, developing
    dental amalgam recovery systems, and creating a program to
    reduce the release of mercury. Despite this agreement,
    dentist offices continue to be the single largest source of
    mercury in Massachusetts, discharging 36 pounds or 13% of
    mercury that enters Massachusetts Bay each year.

    “The MDS should require dentists to capture mercury with a
    filter before it enters waterways,” said Jay Rasku of the
    Toxics Action Center. Once in waterways, mercury
    bioaccumulates in fish, prompting the DPH to advise women of
    child-bearing age and children under 12 against eating fish
    caught in the state. “We also call on the EOEA to meet its
    zero emissions goal by imposing mandatory actions for
    mercury reduction in dentistry, not voluntary programs.”

    "Although there is substantial scientific evidence that
    mercury is dangerous to the environment and human health,
    the MDS is not implementing safety measures that would
    require dentists to trap and recycle this toxic metal," said
    Brent Baeslack, a representative from the Merrimack Valley
    Environmental Coalition.

    Fortunately, alternative filling materials are available,
    and there are cost effective devices to properly manage
    waste dental mercury. "For about $50 a month, slightly less
    than the cost of a single filling, dentists could stop
    mercury from going down the drain," said Baeslack.

    The sixth annual Dirty Dozen Awards spotlight twelve of the
    Commonwealth’s top polluters. These sites pose a
    significant threat to public health and the environment and
    need immediate action by industry and/or government
    officials. The Dirty Dozen Awards were selected from a set
    of nominations by a five-member panel of environmental and
    public health professionals.
     
  3. Anth

    Anth Guest

    Apples - organic (which are getting harder and harder to
    find these days) Anth

    "W_B" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]...
    >
    > The facts about the Hg load are in the news today.
    >
    > The major worldwide Hg load contributors are:
    >
    > Forest fires and Volcanoes 55% China industries 22%
    >
    > American coal burning electrical plants contribute <1% to
    > the *global* Hg environmental load.
    >
    > How do you like them apples ?
    >
    >
    >
    >
    > --
    >
    > W_B
    >
    > Take out the G'RBAGE [email protected]
     
  4. Jan

    Jan Guest

    >Subject: Re: CZ, Do you like apples ?
    >From: "Anth" [email protected]
    >Date: 4/7/2004 2:05 PM Pacific Standard Time
    >Message-id: <[email protected]>
    >
    >Apples - organic (which are getting harder and harder to
    >find these days) Anth
    >
    >"W_B" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    >news:[email protected]...
    >>
    >> The facts about the Hg load are in the news today.
    >>
    >> The major worldwide Hg load contributors are:
    >>
    >> Forest fires and Volcanoes 55% China industries 22%
    >>
    >> American coal burning electrical plants contribute <1% to
    >> the *global* Hg environmental load.
    >>
    >> How do you like them apples ?
    >>
    >>
    >>
    >>
    >> --
    >>
    >> W_B

    The denstists remain in denial and it is everyone
    elses' baby.

    http://tuberose.com/Mercury_Disposal.html

    Dental Mercury Disposal Metal Detoxification The Scientific
    Case Against Amalgam Homocysteine Redox Find A Mercury-Free
    Dentist Truth Decay Book ...if they have as few as 4 amalgam
    fillings present in their mouth, the average person's saliva
    is so high in mercury they cannot legally spit into the
    toilet. Their saliva exceeds the EPA maximum legal municipal
    discharge standard for mercury..--David Kennedy D.D.S.

    Mercury is a persistent, bioaccumulative toxin that poses a
    risk to human health, wildlife and the environment. While
    there has been considerable public debate about the
    potential health effects of mercury fillings, little
    attention has been focused thus far on the disposal of waste
    dental mercury. While mercury is a naturally occurring
    metallic element, human activities--including the use of
    dental fillings--contribute 70% of emissions into the
    environment. Levels of mercury in the environment have
    increased dramatically, with a twenty-fold increase over the
    past 270 years. Today, dentists are the third largest user
    of mercury in the U.S., consuming over 40 metric tons of
    mercury annually with most eventually released into the
    environment. In 1993, it was estimated that 150 million
    amalgam restorations were placed in the USA, weighing over
    75 tons, by 175,000 U.S. dentists, and that there are 22
    billion existing amalgam restorations that will eventually
    have to be removed, according to the A.D.A. The average
    dentist's office produces up to a kilogram of mercury waste
    every year, according to estimates. Environment Canada says
    it all adds up to about two tons of toxic material--the same
    amount that coal-fired power plants spew into the air.

    The name "mercury-free dentist" is misleading. The so-called
    mercury free dentist releases enough mercury in one day to
    contaminate a 22,000-acre lake to above acceptable discharge
    levels. The largest single source of dental mercury released
    into the environment comes from the removal of existing
    amalgams from patients during dental procedures (replacement
    fillings, crowns, extractions, etc). Extracted amalgam
    materials are either rinsed down the drain--usually to a
    municipal wastewater system (or septic system) where it can
    build up in sewage sludge--deposited in biomedical waste
    containers destined for waste incineration or autoclaves, or
    placed in the trash that is later disposed in municipal
    waste landfills or incinerators. It is estimated when an
    amalgam is prepared for a filling, 10% is leftover and is
    often simply discarded. The "over-pack" portion is either
    drawn into the dental clinic's waste vacuum system or is
    expelled by the patient into a chair side cuspidor. But the
    majority of dental mercury waste is discarded into
    wastewater systems.

    Dental clinics remain largely unregulated for mercury
    disposal and extracted amalgam materials are often rinsed
    down the drain, usually to a municipal wastewater system or
    septic systems, deposited in biomedical waste containers
    destined for waste incineration, or placed in trash disposed
    in a municipal waste landfill or incinerator. The American
    Dental Association (ADA), as well as many state dental
    associations, have refrained from promoting, and have even
    opposed mercury reduction efforts. Following the lead of the
    ADA, the U.S. dental establishment has consistently resisted
    efforts to reduce releases of mercury and follow suit with
    the rest of the health care establishment. The ADA refuses
    to encourage its members to assume responsibility for
    curtailing dental mercury pollution, opting instead to
    obstruct initiative at the state and local levels. Many
    countries, especially in Western Europe and Canada--and a
    small, but growing number of local and state governments in
    the U.S.--now recognize dental mercury waste as a serious
    environmental pollutant and are enacting both voluntary
    guidelines and stringent policies to curtail its release.

    Studies by EPA and numerous municipalities document that
    most municipal wastewater treatment plants have high
    levels of mercury with significant contributions from
    dental clinics. Recently, the Association of Metropolitan
    Sewerage Agencies (AMSA) evaluated seven major municipal
    wastewater treatment plants (WWTPs) to determine and
    quantify sources of mercury coming into these facilities.
    AT all plants, dental uses were identified as "by far" the
    greatest contributors to the mercury-load, accounting on
    average for 40% of the load, more than three times the
    next largest source.

    There is little debate that municipal wastewater treatment
    systems are not designed to treat hazardous waste or reduce
    mercury loadings to the environment. Consequently, all
    mercury in the influent wastewater remains unattenuated in
    municipal treatment plants, and either settles out in the
    grit chamber or residuals (sludge, or biosolids), or passes
    through the system to be discharged into a downstream lake,
    river or ocean along with the "treated" effluent. Moreover,
    conditions at certain points within the wastewater treatment
    process are perhaps favorable for promoting methylation of
    mercury within the wastewater or sludge. This has the effect
    of converting a portion of the influent mercury into its
    more toxic, organic form (methyl mercury), which is also
    highly soluble and able to pass through the facility to the
    receiving water body.

    Mercury amalgam particles that drop out of wastewater in
    the grit chamber (the initial coarse settling chamber at
    the front end of a treatment plant), are most commonly
    landfilled along with all other filtered materials. The
    residual sludge, which is the primary byproduct of the
    treatment process, is frequently incinerated. Incineration
    releases the mercury directly into the atmosphere as
    mercury vapor.

    Studies indicate that as much as 95% of the mercury load to
    the treatment plants is released to the atmosphere during
    sludge incineration, with the balance discharged to a body
    of water or landfilled. When not landfilled or incinerated,
    biosolids are used in fertilizers or other soil additives.
    Agricultural sludge application can lead to mercury
    contaminated soil and groundwater, as well as direct
    volatilization to the atmosphere. Regulations for land
    application of sludge in the U.S. are far less restrictive
    for mercury and other heavy metals than many other
    countries. This practice has not been thoroughly studied and
    is further hindered by the fact that both state and federal
    agencies responsible for regulating sludge-spreading are
    also often responsible for promoting it.

    Mercury In Traps, Drains, and Sewer Pipes Following years of
    use, the plumbing in dental offices can become significantly
    laden with dental amalgam. Studies show that high levels of
    mercury are accumulating in sewer pipes from dental offices,
    presenting potential liability concerns to land owners.
    Amalgam particles trapped in dental office plumbing and
    drainage pipes have been found to provide a continuing
    source of dissolved mercury to wastewater over time. The
    slow dissolution of mercury amalgam in dental office
    plumbing, as well as in the municipal sewer system, serves
    as a long-term source of mercury to the receiving facility
    and is eventually released to the environment.

    Mercury In Septic Systems Where no publicly operated
    treatment works exist, dental clinics frequently rely on
    septic systems for wastewater disposal. Similar to municipal
    treatment plants, the potential for methylation exists in
    the anaerobic environment of a septic tank, which can lead
    to the production and discharge of methyl mercury at private
    disposal fields. At these locations, the mercury path to the
    environment is more direct and the soils and groundwater
    surrounding the drain fields of these systems can become
    contaminated with mercury. Significant levels of mercury
    contamination have been detected both within septic tanks as
    well as adjacent to, and downgradient from, disposal fields
    receiving wastewater from dental clinics. The drain fields
    of septic systems receiving dental wastewater have the
    potential to serve as point sources of mercury contamination
    to the underlying and adjacent soils and groundwater, and
    may potentially convey environmental liability on to the
    property owner, and/or wastewater generator.

    Solid Waste Mercury-bearing scrap amalgam is often discarded
    into the trash and leaves the dental office by solid waste
    hauler and is either landfilled or incinerated. The mercury
    in amalgam disposed in a landfill may break down over time
    and co-mingle with landfill leachate. Depending on the
    landfill, mercury may enter groundwater, contaminate
    underlying soils, volatilize into the vapor phase and
    dissipate to the atmosphere or, when landfill leachate is
    sent to a wastewater treatment plant, is taken up in sewage
    sludge that is either re-landfilled or distributed. Also,
    formulation and release of methane gas from landfilled
    mercury may contribute to production of mercury emissions
    within the landfill.

    Biomedical Waste Incineration/Sterilization Waste dental
    mercury is often disposed into the biomedical waste
    container. A recent survey found that 25 to 30 percent of
    dentists place their contact amalgam wastes into biomedical
    "red bags" that are often incinerated. Medical waste is a
    special type of regulated waste due to the potential
    presence of bacteria and pathogens, which is separated and
    handled differently from other solid wastes. If any amalgam
    has come in contact with the mouth or has been removed from
    or with teeth, it is considered contact amalgam and is often
    discarded into biomedial waste. So-called "red-bag" waste is
    often sent to a medical waste incinerator, where the mercury
    is vaporized into the atmosphere. Some handlers of
    biomedical waste sterilize it with high temperature and
    pressure steam in a process known as "autoclaving."
    Oftentimes, these facilities operate with no emission
    controls or standards, which result in mercury vapor
    releases, and discharge of effluent to the local wastewater
    system following sterilization. The residuals from this
    process are landfilled.

    Recycling A small but increasing number of dental clinics
    are beginning to have their mercury recycled. Where
    collection systems are in place, approximately 60% of all
    mercury-bearing amalgam waste is captured in coarse filters
    at chairside, and 95% or more of the mercury can be cost-
    effectively captured when an amalgam separator is added to
    the system. These programs are, in general, effective and
    require only a modest shift in practices, and add a very
    minor increase in operating expense. According to recent
    estimates, an amalgam separator unit capable of removing
    both particulates and dissolved mercury can be operated for
    between $47.95 - $100.00 per month.

    Human Wastes Amalgam has been determined to be the primary
    source of mercury in human waste. After releases from dental
    offices, human wastes are the next greatest contributor of
    dental mercury to waste water treatment plants. In addition,
    amalgam fillings are responsible for additional
    environmental releases of mercury at the end of life. Each
    cremation in the U.S. accounts for, on average, one gram of
    mercury, due to vaporization of mercury contained in dental
    amalgam fillings, being released into the atmosphere.

    Solution It costs less than $50.00 a month, about the cost
    of placing a single filling to remove and recycle mercury
    from amalgams. However, only a small percentage of dentists
    nationwide have taken the steps necessary to reduce use and
    release of this dangerous toxin. Clearly, the time has come
    for U.S. dental associations--as other health care industry
    associations are already doing--to embrace the fundamental
    credo of "first do no harm," by taking responsibility to
    reduce amalgam use and mercury pollution. Environmentally
    responsible dental clinics reduce the use of mercury where
    feasible, employ best management practices and operate
    amalgam separators to get the highest capture rates of
    dental mercury. This approach protects human health and the
    environment while requiring only a modest, compact, and
    available shift in clinical practices and expenses.

    The MAXIMUM Separation System is a dental amalgam separator
    that removes dental amalgam, thus removing mercury from
    dental wastewater before it is discharged into the public
    sewer system and the environment. A cost effective way for
    small and large dental offices and institutions to manage
    their amalgam waste is pollution reduction at the source
    with the use of the MAXIMUM Separation System. It has been
    certified to ISO 11143 standard. It can be retrofitted into
    existing dental vacuum systems. It is located BEFORE the
    vacuum pump, thus removing the amalgam waste before it is
    agitated by the vacuum pump impellers. This decreases the
    release of mercury and reduces wear on the pump.

    http://www.toxicteeth.org/pressRoom_releases_031903_pol-
    luters.cfm


    THE NATION Dentists Biggest Mercury Polluters, New Study
    Finds Health: The metal is widely used in fillings and ends
    up in the nation's waste water. By ELIZABETH SHOGREN TIMES
    STAFF WRITER June 6, 2002

    WASHINGTON - Coal-fired power plants are notorious for being
    the biggest source of mercury pollution in the air. But now,
    new attention is being directed at another, much less known
    source of mercury contamination in water--dentists.

    A new report shows that dentists are the largest single
    source of mercury pollution in waste water funneled into the
    nation's treatment plants.

    Mercury is a potent toxin that can damage the human brain,
    spinal cord, kidney and liver, and is especially dangerous
    for unborn children. While many other sources of mercury
    pollution have drastically cut their use of the heavy metal,
    dentists continue to use it widely in fillings.

    "Pretty much all the mercury they're using gets released
    into the environment. Why aren't they doing more to reduce
    that use?" said Michael Bender, director of the Mercury
    Policy Project, a foundation-funded group that was one of
    the authors of the study.

    Power plants emit mercury into the air and it falls into
    streams and rivers. Many dentists flush it down their drains
    and it goes directly into waste-water treatment plants,
    which do not effectively filter it from the water.

    In a statement responding to the report, the American Dental
    Assn. said it was aware that some particles from fillings
    end up in waste water, and it urges dentists to follow
    proper procedures for handling and recycling the composite
    used for fillings, which they refer to as "amalgam." But the
    association argued that the mercury from their fillings
    remains in a form that is not harmful to humans.

    "However, a 1996 study found that when amalgam particles
    were subjected to simulated waste-water treatment processes,
    no soluble mercury was detected, even at a concentration of
    1 part per billion," according to the statement.

    The group stressed that it was currently implementing a new
    plan to address the problem.

    The new report's authors said that dentists, through
    voluntary or mandatory measures, should trap their waste
    mercury before it flows into plumbing fixtures that have
    been contaminated with mercury for years.

    The report referred to a 2001 study by the Assn. of
    Metropolitan Sewerage Agencies that evaluated seven major
    municipal waste-water treatment plants and determined that
    dental uses were "by far" the greatest contributors to the
    mercury reaching their facilities. They were responsible for
    40% of the load, three times more than the next largest
    contributor.

    Several other countries regulate releases of dental mercury.
    In Canada, a new standard requires dentists to trap the
    pieces of filling before they go down the drain. The goal is
    to reduce releases by 95% by 2005.

    In May, the New Hampshire Legislature became the first in
    the nation to pass legislation governing disposal methods
    for dental mercury.

    The California Assembly considered a measure to phase out
    the use of mercury in fillings but did not adopt it.

    The report suggests that mercury in dentistry has become the
    exception while other major users of mercury have changed
    their practices.

    In 1985 dental facilities used 3% of all the mercury used
    nationwide. Last year, although dentists used less mercury,
    their use accounted for 20% of all uses. Only two other industries--
    wiring devices and switches and chloralkali--used more.

    Gina Solomon, a physician who focuses on the health effects
    of mercury for the Natural Resources Defense Council, said
    that there was still controversy about whether the fillings
    put dental patients at risk. And she stressed that those who
    have such fillings should not get them removed, because
    taking them out heightens the chance of exposure.

    However, she said the science is clear that the mercury that
    goes down the drain can end up in the food chain.

    "There is scientific consensus that mercury that ends up in
    the waste water and water bodies will accumulate in the fish
    and pose a direct human health problem to people who eat the
    fish; that is uncontroversial and is something that can be
    fixed," Solomon said.

    If you want other stories on this topic, search the Archives
    at www.latimes.com/archive. For information about reprinting
    this article, go to www.lats.com/rights.

    http://www.mercurypolicy.org/new/documents/ADAdoc100803.pdf

    Jan
     
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