• EPA Cracks Down on Dentists
  • October 8, 2014
  • Law Firm: McDonald Hopkins LLC - Cleveland Office
  • The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) on Thursday released a proposal to cut down on the amount of mercury that winds up in the water supply as a result of a routine dental procedure.

    According to EPA, more than half of all mercury detected in public water treatment plants comes from discarded fillings.

    Dentists use mercury and other heavy metals to fill cavities, but those metals can harm human health if ingested. And when dentists remove old filings or end up with more cavity-filling material than they need, mercury can go down the drain and end up in rivers and streams.

    EPA wants dental offices to adopt new systems that cut down on the amount of mercury and other heavy metals that wind up in the water.

    EPA projects that by following the proposed rules—which are not due to be finalized until next September—dentists could cut 8.8 tons of heavy metal annually from water treatment plants.