Human exposure to mercury generally occurs by inhalation or ingestion.1 According to the World Health Organization (WHO), the principal human exposure to mercury is from dental amalgams.2 The WHO also lists mercury as one of their top ten chemicals of major health concern.3 Anthropogenic activities have nearly tripled the amount of atmospheric mercury and it is increasing at 1.5 percent annually.
Once mercury enters the food chain it can bioaccumulate in humans and cause adverse health problems.
attempted to quantify mercury releases of the most significant categories of mercury-containing products, using a life cycle approach from production to disposal of these products in the US.
They used substance flow models and estimated mercury releases for 1990, 2000, and 2005.
Additionally, references of studies included for full-text review were examined for potentially relevant studies.
Research Paper Dental Amalgam
Articles published between 2000 to 2018 were searched and specifically screened for articles that referenced “Dental Amalgam,” and the following key words in various combinations: “Minamata Convention on Mercury Treaty,” “Sewage Sludge,” “Cremation,” and “Artisanal and Small-Scale Gold Mining.”Due to a research gap, there were very few peer reviewed published articles in the areas of cremation, sewage sludge, and artisanal and small-scale gold mining (ASGM).
Regarding the use and disposal of dental amalgam, human waste, tooth loss, cremation and infectious waste were considered.
While these routes may result in significant releases of mercury, it was determined that cremation is the most critical.
Dental amalgam enters discharge systems that contain sanitants, cleaners, and other compounds that can generate soluble and colloidal mercury, which will be mobilized into the environment.
Environmental action includes erosion or oxidation (air and sunlight) and microbial transformations, which can also mobilize mercury into the environment.