There is a news and video story on KCTV channel 5 in Kansas City about the proposed EPA ruling. Oral Arguments: EPA Ruling was reported October 6-7, 2010, with links to the EPA website. Dentists allow 3.7 tons of mercury to go down the drain every year.
Michael Bender, co-founder and Executive Director of The Mercury Policy Project reported dentists being the largest source of mercury contamination in city waste water back in 2002 when he released his report, "Dentist, the Menace, the Uncontrollable Release of Dental Mercury." The American Dental Association was not happy with his report, but I am not reporting on that in this article.
Dental Tribune International, wrote an article Interview: 'Amalgam separators must be mandatory' in 2008, telling how amalgam separators must be mandatory in dentists' offices to keep mercury out of the water. “It must be mandatory, otherwise people [better known as dentists, editor’s comments] will not use it.”
Why is this international dental newspaper publishing the truth about mercury when the Food and Drug Adminstration (FDA) and the American Dental Association (ADA) have been dragging their heels, hiding their heads in the sand and refusing to wake up and smell the coffee? Any other expression or word describing their willful neglect of duty would be appropriate to add to this paragraph.
How about shrug off, pass off, ignore, discount, dismiss, discredit, disregard, reject, scoff, turn a blind eye to, neglect, overlook, brush aside, or fail to protect the people, the children, our enviroment and our health?
Karen Burns, a mercury poisoned dental assistant testified before the FDA Advisory Panel in December 2010. She reminded them this was her second time to testify before a FDA Advisory Panel. "I was a dental assistant for 24 years until I lost my job. I can’t work anymore. I get $700 a month disability and I have to pay my own way to come here to remind you that you are here for the public. You’re here for the worker. I shouldn’t have to do this.”
If the dental community won't keep mercury out of the water, the EPA will come along side to help them learn how to do it right. Or better yet, if the ADA and FDA would just get rid of the quicksilver now, dentists many moons from now won't have to dispose of it.
In the meantime, dental assistants, dentists and patients continue to be exposed to mercury in dentists' offices.
The EPA rule, expected to be finalized in 2012, will require dentists to use mercury separating technology by 2014. For more information see an article posted by the IOAMT.
Until this EPA ruling comes into place water continues to be poisoned, and fish become toxic when city waste water containing mercury is released back into streams. Sludge from the city waste water treatment plants containing mercury is sold to farmers to place on crops.
If a six year old child today receives mercury fillings in permanent teeth, and keeps receiving mercury fillings, and survives the mercury and lives to be 100, dentists will be needing amalgam separators for the next 94 years.