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We also included data on cremation statistics and current global trends, looking at populations where cremation is a common practice, such as Japan and India.Discussion: Dental amalgam represents a significant, but understudied area of global mercury pollution that includes cremation, sewage sludge, burial, and small-scale gold mining.Additionally, their model calculated that approximately 150 kg of mercury is released annually in exhaled breath as a result of dental amalgam fillings.8,9Throughout the last several decades, mercury used in products and processes have had a tremendous impact on environmental mercury pollution.
Objectives: The aim of the present study was to investigate and report on all of the various pathways mercury in dental amalgam can enter the environment.
Methods: The present study searched the electronic data bases of Pub Med and Google Scholar.
Additionally, references of studies included for full-text review were examined for potentially relevant studies.
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).
Government regulatory agencies should make it mandatory to utilize available technologies, not only in developing countries, but also in developed countries, to reduce mercury contamination.
Competing Interests: The authors declare no competing financial interests.
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.
A review of a study done by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) that estimated emissions from dental amalgam may have been significantly underestimated.
The EPA's previous study estimated that 0.6 tons/year of dental amalgam is being released, however, the present account indicates that between 6 and 35 tons of mercury is discharged into the environment from dental amalgam, which is considerably higher than the EPA's estimate.6The United Nations Environmental Programme (UNEP) reported that the dental sector uses about 340 tons of mercury in dental amalgams each year.