Research Title : “Mercury Dental Amalgam: Impact to Environment and Human Health”
Research By : Shahriar Hossain
Publication Date : 01-01-2015

Short Description : Mercury (Hg), a potential contaminant of the environment is of global concern because of its toxic nature, trans-boundary movement and its ability of bioaccumulation etc. The healthcare sector is a key source of mercury’s global demand and emissions. In Nepal there is no different in this respect. Quantity of Dental Mercury: According to the WHO report Future Use of Materials for Dental Restoration, the amount of dental mercury entering the environment is “significant”: “A significant amount of mercury is estimated to be released to the environment from the use of dental amalgam either as an indirect result of the diversion of traded amalgam for other purposes or as a result of improper waste management practices or through cremation.” Between 313 and 411 tons of dental mercury is consumed annually around the globe, making it one of the largest consumer uses of mercury in the world. The demand for dental mercury is higher than the demand for almost all other mercury products – more than lighting (120-150 tons), measuring devices (300-350 tons), and electrical devices (170-210 tons). As other mercury products are being phased out, amalgam is fast becoming the largest source of mercury pollution from products. Environmental Health Damage: The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency says, once in the environment, “certain microorganisms can change elemental mercury into methylmercury, a highly toxic form that builds up in fish, shellfish and animals that eat fish. Fish and shellfish are the main sources of methylmercury exposure to humans. Methylmercury can damage children’s developing brains and nervous systems even before they are born.”

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