This summer, the world is taking two essential steps toward abating the damage caused by dental mercury free fillings. Actions by both the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP). Most recently to restrict the use and go dental mercury free. For it’s also being commended by the International Academy of Oral Medicine and Toxicology (IAOMT).
Two Key Steps Towards Reducing Global Mercury Damage
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This summer, significant progress is being made. Especially in the fight against the damage caused by dental mercury fillings. Both the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) have taken actions. All to limit the use of dental mercury to go dental mercury free. Their efforts are applauded by the International Academy of Oral Medicine and Toxicology (IAOMT). Also a group of dentists, scientists, and other professionals. Especially those who have been studying the harmful effects of dental mercury since 1984. I mean so we must go dental mercury free. IAOMT also started advocating for a total ban on mercury fillings in 1985.
So the IAOMT now urges further steps. Especially to fully safeguard the planet from the negative consequences of dental mercury. Especially why we must go dental mercury free. Most importantly on human health and the environment. All silver-colored dental fillings. Thereby and commonly referred to as “amalgams”. For they comprise about 50% mercury. Dental mercury is known to contaminate water sources and wildlife. For it and it is also the primary cause of mercury exposure. Especially for individuals with these fillings. This poses a range of potential health hazards for these patients.
EPA Dental Effluent Rule and UNEP Mercury Treaty to go Dental Mercury Free
Amalgam separators minimize the release of mercury from dental practices into the environment. Consequently, the EPA has employed measures in the Clean Water Act. That’s to create standards. Essentially that mandate dental offices to install amalgam separators. This rule will also be enforced starting on Friday, July 14. In addition, the EPA projects that it could decrease mercury discharges. Most surprisingly and by 5.1 tons annually. Another reason to go dental mercury free.
However, the IAOMT points out that the EPA should also mandate regular maintenance. Essentially for amalgam separators to prevent failure. More importantly to further prevent releases of mercury. It’s important to note that amalgam separators only decrease dental mercury. For it does not eliminate mercury in wastewater. In addition, it does not address the effect of mercury/silver fillings. Especially on human health.
International Bans and Limitations on Dental Mercury
Many countries have already prohibited or heavily restricted the use of dental mercury. Surprisingly, the use of mercury in dentistry continues in the US. So we just go dental mercury free. That’s without any limitations imposed by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). As a result, pregnant women, children, and all other American populations are still receiving mercury fillings. Subpopulations in the US with higher rates of mercury filling placement include:
- Black and African Americans
- Native Americans
- Alaska Natives
- Pacific Islanders
- and members of the United States Armed Forces.
IAOMT President Tammy DeGregorio, DMD, ND, added these points. The world is getting healthier this summer. Especially with these latest actions to go dental mercury free. But to truly protect people and the environment, the use of dental mercury must completely end for all patients. In addition and all dental offices. Finally and all global regions.
The Need for Education and Awareness
Despite the progress in limiting dental mercury use, there is a need for increased education and awareness among dental professionals and the general public. Many people are unaware of the potential health risks associated with dental mercury and the availability of mercury-free alternatives for dental fillings.
Mercury-Free Dental Fillings: A Safer Alternative
As the world moves towards reducing the use of dental mercury, dental professionals must consider safer alternatives for their patients. Mercury-free dental fillings, such as composite resin and glass ionomer materials, are becoming increasingly popular as they offer a more health-conscious and environmentally friendly solution.
The Role of Dental Associations and Regulatory Bodies
Dental associations and regulatory bodies across the globe should take a more active role in promoting mercury-free dentistry. By providing guidelines, recommendations, and support to dental professionals, these organizations can help accelerate the transition to a mercury-free dental industry.
Government Policies and Incentives
Governments can play a crucial part in encouraging the adoption of mercury-free dentistry by implementing policies and incentives that promote the use of alternative materials. Financial incentives, tax breaks, and funding for research and development of mercury-free dental materials can all contribute to the global reduction of dental mercury use.
Public Demand for Mercury-Free Dentistry
As public awareness of the dangers of dental mercury increases, the demand for mercury-free dentistry is likely to grow. Dental professionals who can offer mercury-free solutions will be better positioned to meet the needs of health-conscious patients.
Environmental Impact of Dental Mercury
The environmental impact of dental mercury cannot be overlooked. The pollution of waterways and wildlife has far-reaching consequences on ecosystems and human health. By reducing the use of dental mercury, we can help protect our planet and its inhabitants from the harmful effects of mercury contamination.
The Path Towards a Mercury-Free Future
The actions taken by the EPA and UNEP are essential steps towards a mercury-free future. However, there is still much work to be done. Dental professionals, regulatory bodies, governments, and the public must work together to raise awareness, promote mercury-free alternatives, and ultimately eliminate the use of dental mercury worldwide.
In conclusion, the world is making significant progress in the fight against dental mercury damage this summer. The actions of the EPA and UNEP to restrict dental mercury use are essential steps towards a healthier planet, but more must be done. By working together, we can protect human health and the environment from the harmful effects of dental mercury.