The Environmentally Responsible Dentist - Dental Amalgam Recycling: Principles, Pathways and Practice
|8435||July 26, 2011||1|
Marquette University’s School of Dentistry, along with the Environmental Protection Agency has developed a teaching module to educate dental students on proper dental amalgam waste management. The module aims to raise dental students’ awareness of the dental amalgam waste issue and to provide the students with practical steps to reduce the release of amalgam waste to the environment. Dental amalgam waste is a significant contributor of mercury discharges to municipal wastewater treatment facilities, often referred to as “publicly-owned treatment works” (POTWs). While POTWs have a high efficiency rate of removing amalgam from wastewaters (around 90%), a small amount of waste amalgam is discharged from POTWs into surface waters around the plants. Dental offices were found in 2003 to have been the source of 50% of all mercury pollution entering POTWs. In 2008, EPA estimated that dentists discharge approximately 3.7 tons of mercury each year to POTWs.
Stafford G. The Environmentally Responsible Dentist - Dental Amalgam Recycling: Principles, Pathways and Practice. MedEdPORTAL Publication; 2011. Available from: https://www.mededportal.org/publication/8435 http://dx.doi.org/10.15766/mep_2374-8265.8435
- To review a brief history of Amalgam.
- To appreciate both national and international related dental amalgam actions.
- To gain an understanding of mercury in dental amalgam.
- To be able to describe current governmental regulation of amalgam.
- To recognize the extent of dental amalgam use in the United States.
- To explain environmental fate and transport mechanisms of amalgam.
- To learn effective environmentally responsible practices.
- Methylmercury Compounds (MeSH), Mercury Poisoning (MeSH), Amalgam
Practice-based Learning & Improvement
- Clinical Skills/Doctoring
- Dental Student
Professional School Post-Graduate Training
Authors & Co-Authors
Gary Stafford, DMD
Marquette University School of Dentistry
Effectiveness and Significance
Incorporation of this module into a dental school curriculum and/or utilization of the module as a continuing education presentation will make the dental student, practicing clinician and dental team more aware of their role in helping to maintain a healthy water supply by acting in an environmentally responsible manner.
This information is made available under the Creative Commons license.
Publications, Presentations, and/or Citations for this Publication
- Stafford GL. (2009) “The Environmentally Responsible Dentist.”University of Iowa College of Dentistry, Iowa City, IA. May 19.
- Stafford GL. (2008) “Dental Amalgam Recycling: Pathways, Principles, & Practice.” Keynote Speaker – Academy of Operative Dentistry /Consortium of Operative Dentistry Educators Annual Session, Chicago, IL. February 21.
- Stafford GL. (2008) “Dental Amalgam Recycling: Pathways, Principles, & Practice.”University of Nebraska College of Dentistry, Lincoln, NE. February 12.
- Stafford G. (2008) “Dental Amalgam Recycling: Pathways, Principles, & Practice.”Creighton University School of Dentistry, Omaha, NE. February 11.
Contains materials or information owned by other parties
- Page 5 - Image courtesy of University of California Press.
- Page 6 - This image is in the public domain because its copyright has expired.
- Page 7 - Image courtesy of the OHSU Historical Collections & Archives, Oregon Health & Science University.
- Page 8 - Image courtesy of Bernard Becker Medical Library, Washington University School of Medicine, St. Louis.
- Page 9 - This image is in the public domain because its copyright has expired.
- Page 14 - There are no copyright restrictions on this image.
- Page 15 - There are no copyright restrictions on this image.
- Page 26 - This image is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.5 Generic license.
- Page 28 - This image is in the public domain by release of the author.
- Page 29 - This image is in the public domain by release of the author.
- Page 32 - Free to use image courtesy of the EPA.
- Page 33 - Free to use image courtesy of the EPA.
- Page 34 - Free to use image courtesy of the EPA.
- Page 39 - There are no copyright restrictions.
- Pages 50 and 51 - Noncommercial use, reproduction and distribution of all or any portion of the American Dental Association's Best Management Practices for Amalgam Waste is permitted solely for educational or scientific purposes, provided that this copyright notice is prominently displayed on each copy of the work. Third parties are expressly prohibited from creating derivatives of this work without the prior written permission of the American Dental Association. This work is educational only and does not constitute legal or professional advice.
- Page 54 - Free to use image courtesy of the EPA This photo is used for illustrative purposes only. EPA cannot endorse any particular amalgam separator.
- Pages 57 and 58 - Approval from University of Minnesota.
- Page 59 - Free to use image with citation - Diagram is included in "ASSESSMENT OF MERCURY IN THE FORM OF AMALGAM IN DENTAL WASTEWATER IN THE UNITED STATES," Jay A. Vandeven and Steve L. McGinnis, 2005.
- Pages 60 and 61 - Free to use image courtesy of the EPA.
- Page 62 - Free to use image courtesy of the EPA.
- Page 67 - Free to use image courtesy of the Federal Government who cannot hold copyrights.
- Page 72 - Free to use image courtesy of the EPA.
- Page 74 - There are no copyright issues.