Dental Amalgam - The Environmental Effects of Mercury



Due to its unique properties, mercury is a useful, versatile component of many modern tools.  This substance is found often in its liquid elemental state, in devices such as barometers, manometers, thermometers, and thermostats.  Despite the numerous common uses of mercury, however, it is one of the most harmful of the heavy metals.

When these mercury-containing appliances are disposed of, they are often incinerated or dumped into landfills.  The presence of mercury in landfills pollutes the nearby ground water, and incineration introduces mercury vapors into the atmosphere.  These mercury vapors circulate for long periods of time in the atmosphere, diffusing over a wide-spread area.  From there, the vapors settle in the environment, typically in the aquatic ecosystem.  The mercury accumulates in contaminated plants and animals faster than it can be naturally reduced.  As animals farther up the food chain consume contaminated prey, the concentrations of mercury increase significantly, in a process known as mercury biomagnification.

The mercury contamination is introduced to humans when they consume polluted fish, water fowl, and crops.  Elevated levels of mercury can be harmful to the immune, genetic, nervous, and enzyme systems in the human body.  These effects are especially prominent in the developing embryos of pregnant women, which are much more sensitive to mercury poisoning than human adults.  This contamination can result in serious birth defects.

Mailyoursharps provides an environmentally safe solution for recycling and disposing of mercury-bearing materials.  We treat these materials at the largest mercury waste processor in the nation.  The mercury is recycled safely and efficiently, exceeding federal guidelines by often bringing residual levels below the possibility of detection.

Mail Your Sharps, Inc. is a national provider of Mail-Back Sharps Systems, which are ideal for the disposal of needles, syringes, and lancets.  Our programs are approved by the US Postal Service, and comply with all federal and state regulations. We also supply mail-back services for Medical Waste, Amalgam, Mercury, Lead Foil, and many others.

Visit us at www.mailyoursharps.com, or call us at 866-210-2744.