This website uses cookies to ensure you have the best experience. Learn more

The Effects Of Dental Amalgam On The Environment

1598 words - 6 pages

The Effects of Dental Amalgam on the Environment
The disposal of dental amalgam, specifically the mercury component, has become a controversial topic in the past twenty years. Due to the concern this issue brings, many studies have taken place regarding the effect of mercury on the environment and in humans.
Amalgam is the most common material used in restorative dentistry due to its low cost, ease of use and stability (Chin et al., 2000). The basic ingredients include silver, tin, copper and mercury. Mercury is the most abundant component in amalgam and can be toxic in different forms, such as dust or vapor (Drummond, Cailas & Croke, 2003).
Amalgam waste is generated during placement and replacement of restorative materials. There are two types of amalgam waste: contact and non-contact amalgam. Contact amalgam includes amalgam that has been in contact with the tooth surface. Non-contact amalgam includes excess material that was either not placed in the restoration or left in the capsule that the amalgam came in. Contact amalgam accounts for the majority of the contaminants in dental waste water, while non-contact amalgam is recyclable and can be used for refinement (Drummond et al., 2003)
Non-contact amalgam is not considered to be a health hazard if stored and recycled properly. The mercury component can be hazardous in a dust or vapor form. To prevent detrimental effects from the vapor, amalgam should be stored in an airtight container. This scrap amalgam should also be stored in a liquid, which will prevent the breakdown of amalgam into its components. Water is the most common liquid used but radiographic fixer is considered to be more effective for amalgam storage and the prevention of degradation (Chin et al., 2000).
Contact amalgam is the main component of dental waste water and the primary source of concern for environmental contamination. This heterogeneous mixture of liquids and amalgam particles enters into waste water treatment plants and then into lakes and streams. Studies show that the amalgam particles settle in this heterogeneous mixture. These particles can range from 3 millimeters (mm) to 0.01mm in size (Jokstad & Fan, 2006).
There are several separating techniques based on gravitational pull that can be beneficial in removing the particles before they enter the environment via waste water (Drummond et al., 2003). The American Dental Association (ADA) recommends using amalgam separators to aid in the collection of amalgam particles. Some types of separators include filtration, centrifuge, chemical removal and sedimentation. The sedimentation technique is the most commonly used separator. This technique allows the particles to settle and then the water is removed using a low-volume pump (Jokstad et al., 2006). The specific gravity of amalgam is ten times that of water which allows this technique to work (Batchu, Rakowski, Fan & Meyer, 2006).
Amalgam separators can remove anywhere from 40-80...

Find Another Essay On The Effects of Dental Amalgam on the Environment

Effects of Plastic Bottles On the Environment

1579 words - 6 pages Being convenient enough for everyday use and even tasting better to some, plastic bottles are a popular way of consuming beverages. They are convenient and to some people, can even taste better. However, the process of manufacturing and transporting the millions of bottles produced is detrimental to the environment. Continued use of plastic bottles could exponentially hurt the planet. Given all the negative effects that come from plastic, why

Effects of Pollution Damage on the Environment

947 words - 4 pages Pollution is the induction of harmful material or by-products discharged into the earth's environment. Pollution is one of the foremost problems in America and the world today. Pollution damages the environment and human health. Pollution has caused a multitude of problems ranging from healthcare issues like lung cancer to the current problem of the green house effect. Pollution is everywhere and humankind persists on living with this problem

Paleopathology’s Depiction of Prehistoric Dental Diseases: Agriculture’s Negative Effects on The Human Time Capsule

1794 words - 8 pages acid in these foods slowly starts to disintegrate/weaken the enamel, which reveals the dentine and roots, making it easily accessible for any form of dental pathology from caries to ante-mortem tooth loss. Hypoplastic Enamel Defects Affecting Children Lastly, we have the dental disease, enamel hypoplasia, the stress indicators marked on teeth by lines, grooves or pits (Roberts and Manchester, 2005:75). The effects that are seen occur only when

Human Impact on the Environment: The Effects of Nuclear Testing on the Environment

1556 words - 6 pages The effects on the environment of nuclear radioactive waste can be assumed as significant and massive just by understanding how much power a nuclear bomb has within it. There are major settings in which to conduct nuclear tests; atmospheric testing, underground testing, upper atmospheric testing, and underwater testing. All of these testing methods have different impacts on their surrounding environments.The first way to test a nuclear bomb is

The Effects of Ocean Pollution on the Environment

2069 words - 8 pages the industrial pollution. There have been many major oil spills all within the last century. For example, the Gulf War, Atlantic Empress, Fergana Valley, Nowruz Oil Field, ABT Summer, and more, all in which have spilled between 40 million to 336 million gallons of oil. (Casselman) Oil spills have major impacts on marine life. The three main direct effects include ingestion, absorption, and inhalation. If an animal swallows oil they can experience

Positive and Negative Effects of Golf Courses on the Environment

985 words - 4 pages Golf courses in America hold themselves to a high standard when it comes to maintaining the thick, weed free and lusciously manicured turf in the fairways of their course. There has been increased focus on pesticides on golf courses since the early 1990s. In recent years however, Golf Course managers have began to realize the effect that they were having on the environment, both positive and negative. Many managers have began to consult with

1.) Effects of mobile sources on global warming, the environment

1282 words - 5 pages 1.) Effects of mobile sources on global warming, the environment and humans Mobile sources, the leading contributor of air pollution, produce several important air pollutants, such as, air toxics and green house gases. Air toxics are pollutants known or suspected to cause cancer or other serious health problems such as heart problems, asthma symptoms, eye and lung irritation, and premature death. Air toxics are also harmful to the environment

The Effects of Affluenza on Our Fragile Environment

1181 words - 5 pages The Effects of Affluenza on Our Fragile EnvironmentIntroductionImagine a world where the impacts of pollution have caused global warming to get to such an extent where it causes the ice caps to melt. This problem will cause the sea levels to rise and as a result thousands of homes will be underwater never to be lived in again. Affluenza is usually described as an endorsement of the flow of wealth that causes a division of classes, and loss of

Rainforest Depletion: Adverse Effects on the Environment

1393 words - 6 pages Missing Charts Rainforest Depletion: Adverse Effects on the Environment Introduction The depletion of tropical rainforests by third world countries, as well as by American industry, has been a growing area of concern for many environmental organizations. Animal rights activists are livid at the frightening rate in which species are becoming extinct in these regions. Conservationists argue that the foliage is disappearing at rates

Television's Effects on the Natural Environment

1212 words - 5 pages Television's Effects on the Natural Environment You may be thinking, “How on earth could the TV have an affect on our natural environment?” and you have every right to. At first glance, it may seem impossible that the TV can have an effect on our natural surroundings; but, nevertheless, it does. One of the ways that the TV can have an effect on our surroundings is by the amount of power that is needed to run all of the TV’s in

The Environment And The Effects Of Globalization

912 words - 4 pages business puts on their environment. This not only effects that countries environment, but it also effects the rest of the world, which in turn effects globalization. If one country is hurting from environmental strain then other countries that do business with them will also hurt. It is like a domino effect of international business, if one is doing bad then other businesses with also suffer. Adhering to the labor and environmental regulations

Similar Essays

The Debate Over Dental Amalgam Essay

1443 words - 6 pages the temperature required to boil because of mercury’s low boiling point. This revolutionary achievement placed him in history as the “Father of the Amalgam”. After the discovery of amalgams dentist began placing them on patients as early as 1826. Even with this revolution in the dental field early experts had a few doubts and concerns about the use of mercury. An early dental textbook stated that mercury was “the most pernicious material that has

The Effects Of Acids On The Environment

2443 words - 10 pages The Effects of Acids on the Environment (a). Introduction Acidic pollutants can be deposited from the atmosphere to the Earth's surface in wet and dry forms. The common term to describe this process is acid deposition. The term acid precipitation is used to specifically describe wet forms of acid pollution that can be found in rain, sleet, snow, fog, and cloud vapor. An acid can be defined as any substance that when dissolved in

The Effects Of Overpopulation On The Environment

697 words - 3 pages The Effects of Overpopulation on the Environment The world population reached 6 billion, on October 12, 1999. It will reach 9.3 billion by 2050. The impacts of continued population growth are already felt by a majority of nations. Overpopulation is the root cause of most environmental problems. The demands of increasing population magnify demands for natural resources, clean air and water, as well as access to

The Effects Of Fluoride In Dental Caries

1136 words - 5 pages Health Canada classifies fluoride as “an element that has a beneficial effect on dental caries” (1). Fluoride is a mineral found in soil, water (both fresh and salt), air, foods, supplements, water, and dental products. Water fluoridation is the process of fortifying the natural fluoride content of public water supplies to a level that is known to improve dental health and prevent tooth decay (2) .The usual chemicals for fluoride are