Advertisement

Water, Air, and Soil Pollution

, Volume 164, Issue 1–4, pp 349–366 | Cite as

An Assessment of Mercury in the Form of Amalgam in Dental Wastewater in the United States

  • Jay A. Vandeven
  • Steve L. McginnisEmail author
Article

Abstract

An assessment was conducted of the discharge from dental facilities of mercury in the form of amalgam to surface waters in the United States. Two pathways were examined – effluent from publicly owned treatment works (POTWs) and air emissions from sewage sludge incinerators (SSIs). The annual use of mercury in the form of amalgam in the U.S. is approximately 35.2 tons (31.9 metric tons). It was estimated that 29.7 tons (26.9 metric tons) of mercury in the form of amalgam are annually discharged to the internal wastewater systems of dental facilities during amalgam placements and removals. Based on the partial capture of this amalgam in conventional chair-side traps and vacuum filters, the discharge of mercury in the form of amalgam from dental facilities to POTWs was estimated to be 6.5 tons (5.9 metric tons). The discharge of mercury to surface water via POTW effluents and SSI emissions was estimated to total approximately 0.4 tons (0.4 metric tons). A cost-effectiveness analysis determined that the annual cost to the dental industry to reduce mercury discharges through the use of amalgam separators would range from 380 millionto 1.14 billion per ton.

Keywords

amalgam separator biosolids dental amalgam dentistry mercury publicly owned treatment works wastewater 

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

References

  1. Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR): 1999, ‘Toxicological Profile for Mercury’, Research Triangle Park, North Carolina.Google Scholar
  2. American Dental Association (ADA): 2004, ‘Best Management Practices for Amalgam Waste’, Chicago, Illinois.Google Scholar
  3. American Dental Association (ADA): 2002, ‘National Recruitment & Retention Report – End of Year 2001’, Chicago, Illinois.Google Scholar
  4. American Dental Association (ADA): 2001, ‘1999 Survey of Dental Practice: Dentists in Solo and Nonsolo Practice’, Chicago, Illinois.Google Scholar
  5. Anusavice, K. J.: 2003, Phillips’ Science of Dental Materials, WB Saunders Company, St. Louis, Missouri, 744 pp.Google Scholar
  6. Arenholt-Bindslev, D.: 1992, ‘Dental amalgam – environmental aspects’, Adv. Dental Res. 6, 125–130.Google Scholar
  7. Arenholt-Bindslev, D. and Larsen, A. H.: 1996, ‘Mercury levels and discharge in waste water from dental clinics’, Water, Air, Soil Pollut. 86, 93–99.Google Scholar
  8. Association of Metropolitan Sewerage Agencies (AMSA): 2002, ‘Mercury Source Control and Pollution Prevention Program’, Washington, DC.Google Scholar
  9. Balogh, S. and Johnson, L.: 1998, ‘Mercury Mass Balances at Two Small Wastewater Treatment Plants’, Metropolitan Council Environmental Services (MCES), Minneapolis-St. Paul, Minnesota.Google Scholar
  10. Balogh, S. and Liang, L.: 1995, ‘Mercury pathways in municipal wastewater treatment plants’, Water, Air, Soil Pollut. 80, 1181–1190.Google Scholar
  11. Barron, T.: 2001, ‘Mercury Headworks Analysis for 2000’, Palo Alto Regional Water Quality Control Plant, Palo Alto, California.Google Scholar
  12. Batchu, H., Stone, M., Naleway, C. A. and Meyer, D.: 1995, ‘Comparison of particle size distributions of dental wastewater under various clinical procedures’, J. Dental Res. 74, Abstract No. 1101.Google Scholar
  13. Bering, C.: 1997, ‘Mercury in Dental Facilities, Massachusetts Water Resources Authority’, Massachusetts Water Resources Authority, Boston, Massachusetts.Google Scholar
  14. Berthold, M.: 2002, ‘Restoratives: Trend data shows shift in use of materials’, Am. Dental Assoc. News 33(11), 10–11.Google Scholar
  15. Cailas, M. D., Ovsey, V. G., Mihailova, C., Naleway, C. A., Batchu, H., Fan, P. L., Chou, H. N., Stone, M., Meyer, D., Ralls, S. and Roddy, W.: 1994, ‘Physico-Chemical Properties of Dental Wastewater’, Water Environment Federation 67th Annual Conference & Exposition WEFTEC, Chicago, Illinois. pp. 317–327.Google Scholar
  16. Drummond, J. L., Cailas, M. D., Ovsey, V., Stone, M., Roddy, W. C., Francis, B. M., Babka, M. A., Perry, R. P., Toepke, T. R., Cohen, M. E. and Ralls, S. A.: 1995, ‘Dental waste water: Quantification of constituent fractions’, Acad. Dental Mat. Transact. 112, P-11.Google Scholar
  17. Fan, P. L., Arenholt-Bindslev, D., Schmalz, G., Halbach, S. and Berendson, H.: 1997, ‘Environmental issues in dentistry – mercury’, Int. Dental J. 47, 105–109.Google Scholar
  18. Fan, P. L., Batchu, H., Chou, H., Gasparac, W., Sandrik, J. and Meyer, D.: 2002a, ‘Amalgam in dental office wastewater: Addressing the Issue’, J. ADA 113, 585–589.Google Scholar
  19. Fan, P. L., Batchu, H., Gasparac, W., Sandrik, J. and Meyer, D.: 2002b, ‘Laboratory evaluation of amalgam separators’, J. ADA 113, 577–584.Google Scholar
  20. Florida Center for Solid and Hazardous Waste Management (CSHWM): 1997, ‘Mercury in Florida’s Medical Facilities: Issues and Alternatives, Report #S97-15’, Gainesville, Florida.Google Scholar
  21. International Organization for Standardization (ISO): 1999, ‘Dental Equipment – Amalgam Separators, ISO 11143’, Geneva, Switzerland.Google Scholar
  22. Johnson, B.: 2000, ‘Mercury Amalgam Treatment Technologies for Dental Offices’, Palo Alto Regional Water Quality Control Plant, Palo Alto, California.Google Scholar
  23. Kunkel, P. K., Cook, P. M. and York, B.: 1996, ‘The fate of mercury in dental amalgam’, Water Environ. Technol. 8(12), 49–53.Google Scholar
  24. Massachusetts Water Resources Authority: 1997, ‘Mercury in Dental Facilities’, Boston, Massachusetts.Google Scholar
  25. Metropolitan Council Environmental Services (MCES) and Minnesota Dental Association (MDA) 2001, ‘Evaluation of Amalgam Removal Equipment and Dental Clinic Loadings to the Sanitary Sewer’, Minneapolis-St. Paul, Minnesota.Google Scholar
  26. Metropolitan Council Environmental Services (MCES): 1995, ‘Evaluating Sources of Mercury to the Sanitary Sewer’, Minneapolis-St. Paul, Minnesota.Google Scholar
  27. Municipality of Metropolitan Seattle: 1993, ‘Dental Office Waste Stream Characterization Study’, Seattle, Washington.Google Scholar
  28. Naleway, C. A., Ovsey, V., Mihailova, C., Chou, H., Fan, P. L., Whitlock, R., Meyer, D., Cailas, M., Ralls, S. A. and Cecil, J.: 1994, ‘Characteristics of amalgam in dental wastewater’, J. Dental Res. 73, Abstract No. 25.Google Scholar
  29. Okabe, T. B. Elvebak, L. Carrasco, J. L. Ferracane, R. G., Keanini and Nakajima, H.: 2003, ‘Mercury release from dental amalgams into continuously replenished liquids’, Dental Mat. 19(1), 38–45.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Rourke, D.: 1993, ‘City and County of San Francisco Dental Related Facilities – Heavy Metals Loadings’, California Water Pollution Control Association Bulletin. Fall 1993, 10–14.Google Scholar
  31. Skare, I.: 1995, ‘Mass balance and systemic uptake of mercury released from dental amalgam fillings’, Water, Air, Soil Pollut. 80, 59–67.Google Scholar
  32. Stone, M. E., Pederson, E. D., Cohen, M. E., Ragain, J. C., Karaway, R. S., Auxer, R. A. and Saluta, A. R.: 2001, ‘Residual mercury content and leaching of mercury and silver from used amalgam capsules’, Acad. Dental Mat. 1, 36–37.Google Scholar
  33. Sznopek, J. and Goonan, T.: 2000, ‘The Materials Flow of Mercury in the Economies of the United States and the World, United States Geological Survey Circular 1197’, Denver, Colorado.Google Scholar
  34. Tchobanoglous, G. and Burton, F. L.: 1991, Wastewater Engineering – Treatment, Disposal, and Reuse, 3rd {edn.}, Irwin McGraw-Hill, New York.Google Scholar
  35. United States Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA): 1999, ‘Biosolids Generation, Use, and Disposal in the U.S. EPA 530-R-99-00’, Washington, DC.Google Scholar
  36. United States Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA): 1997, ‘Mercury Study Report to Congress EPA-452/R-97-003’, Washington, DC.Google Scholar
  37. United States Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA): 1995, ‘Compilation of Air Pollutant Emission Factors, AP-42, Fifth Edition, Volume I: Stationary Point and Area Sources’, Washington, D.C.Google Scholar
  38. Watson, P., Adegbembo, A. and Lugowski, S.: 2002, ‘A Study of the Fate of Mercury from the Placement and Removal of Dental Amalgam Restorations’, Royal College of Dental Surgeons, Ontario, Canada.Google Scholar
  39. Western Lake Superior Sanitary District (WLSSD): 1992, ‘Dental Mercury Pollution Prevention Program’, Duluth, Minnesota.Google Scholar
  40. White, E.: 2001, ‘The Ebb and Flow of Composites’, Dental Products Report, October edn., 17–21.Google Scholar
  41. Yuming, L., Siew, C. and Shearer, B. G.: 1998, ‘Dental amalgam: Update on safety concerns’, J. Am. Dental Assoc. 129, 494–503.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science + Business Media, Inc. 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Environ International CorporationArlingtonU.S.A.

Personalised recommendations