—Proposal Targets Dental Amalgam “” A new Clean Water Act proposal would cut discharges of mercury-containing dental amalgam to waterways. Dental amalgam is a mixture of mercury and other metals including silver, copper, and tin that is used to fill cavities. When amalgam fillings are removed in dental offices, the mixture of metals is often rinsed down the drain.
by Jessica Morrison | October 06, 2014
—FDA Sued Over Mercury In Dental Fillings “” A coalition of health advocacy groups and individuals adversely affected by mercury in dental amalgams filed a lawsuit against FDA last week, claiming that the agency has failed to respond in a timely manner to petitions calling for a ban on dental amalgams or tighter restrictions on the use of dental amalgams in vulnerable individuals. Americans and dentists are being misled by the American Dental Association, according to attorney James M. Love, who filed the lawsuit. “Most individuals remain unaware that those ‘silver’ fillings, prevalently used as a dental restoration and covered by insurance policies, consist of 45–55% metallic mercury, and that there are health and environmental risks associated with those fillings,” Love says.
by Britt E. Erickson | March 10, 2014
The question facing regulators is whether the level of mercury released by amalgams requires a change in policy. Dental amalgams are currently regulated under a rule finalized in 2009 that upgraded the material from a Class I medical device to a Class II device. The higher classification means that dental amalgams pose a greater risk to patients than previously thought, and special regulatory controls, including a guidance document for manufacturers, are needed.
by Britt E. Erickson | January 31, 2011
—Dental Amalgam Enables Mercury Chemistry “Vaporized filling material yields new compounds” Laser ablation reactions combining vaporized dental amalgam and oxygen difluoride (OF2) yield the oxyfluoride compounds OHgF and FOHgF, according to a new report (Angew. Chem. Int. Ed., DOI: 10.1002/anie.201204331).
by Jyllian Kemsley | July 30, 2012
—Mercury Down The Drain “Congress moves to limit discharge of dental mercury into wastewater” DESPITE EFFORTS to eliminate mercury from numerous products over the past few decades, a few holdouts remain. Among them are dental amalgam fillings. Dentists continue to use amalgam fillings, which contain about 50% mercury, because they are less expensive than currently available alternatives.
by Britt E. Erickson | July 28, 2008
—Mercury In Fillings Turns To Sulfide “Fresh dental amalgam is mostly metal, but over time most of the filling surface converts into mercuric sulfide, with possible toxicity effects” The aged dental amalgam on the surface of your old fillings may have lost as much as 95% of its mercury, and what’s left has likely been converted into a form of mercuric sulfide, reports a group led by Graham N.
by Jyllian N. Kemsley | November 09, 2009
Food & Drug Administration and the European Union continue to vouch for the safety of dental amalgams, which are about half mercury and half a mix of other metals including silver, tin, and copper. A standard treatment for about 160 years, amalgam fillings are an effective and low-cost fix that can last 20 years or more.
by Marc S. Reisch | August 01, 2016
—Mercury Down The Dental Drain “” A team led by Karl J. Rockne and James L. Drummond of the University of Illinois, Chicago, has investigated how much mercury and methylmercury, a bioaccumlative neurotoxin, is released from dentists' offices (Environ. Sci. Technol., DOI: 10.1021/es7027058). Mercury from dental waste accounts for 13–78% of Hg in publicly treated wastewater and primarily comes from amalgams used for fillings. Some dental clinics use traps to collect particulate waste, but in prior work the researchers found that dental drills grind the amalgam into very fine particles that may form stable suspensions in water, allowing mercury to escape the traps. In the new study, they let dental wastewater samples settle for 24 hours and then sampled the supernatant to estimate how much mercury would sidestep standard traps.
March 24, 2008