Over the years, mercury concentration in certain areas around the United States continues to rise. Manufacturers and corporations are still manufacturing products that result in high levels of mercury waste in the water, yet what is surprising is that dentist offices are one of the largest sources of mercury in waste water. One study suggested that dentists are the third largest user of mercury in the U.S. It is accounted for over 20% of the estimated 200 metric tons used as of 2012 and nearly over 40 metric tons of mercury released into the environment. So why are dentist offices considered one of the largest source of mercury wastes? According to the EPA, dental amalgam, a tooth filling material that is 50% mercury, is one of the leading intentional use of mercury in the US. Yet, most amalgam waste gets flushed down the drain without proper protocols. This mercury waste amounts to about 3.6 tons each year, most of which escapes into landfills, while some is incinerated, either pollinating the air and polluting fish and wildlife by seeping into the waterways.
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