I do not use amalgam anymore. How can it be an environmental problem?
The Swedish population still have amalgam fillings. It is estimated that the Swedes have 15 tonnes of mercury in their teeth. The dental care is considered as an environmental hazard activity because of the waste from amalgam fillings. The quantity of mercury contained in people´s mouths in the EU Member States has been estimated to over 1 000 tonnes. (Source: Study on the potential for reducing mercury pollution from dental amalgam and batteries”, BIO Intelligence Service, European Commission, 2012).
Why is mercury dangerous to the environment?
50 percent of dental amalgam is mercury. When the mercury is released into the environment it can easily be converted to methylmercury, which is the most dangerous form of mercury. It is extremely toxic and affects fetal development and may affect the central nervous system in humans. Mercury can also damage the muscles, kidneys and immune system. The toxic effects of mercury depend on its chemical form. In dental amalgam, mercury is very dense, to enable it to be used as filling for most patients.