Dental Clinic Resources

Dental clinics have been valuable partners in the District's mercury reduction efforts by managing amalgam waste. Click the link below for information and requirements specific to dental clinics.

Pollution Prevention for Dental Clinics

What You Can Do

Familiarize yourself with common mercury-containing products and determine whether you have any in your house. A few common places include:

  • Medicine cabinet: thermometers, blood pressure cuffs, contact lens solution (look for thimerosal as an ingredient)
  • Walls: Thermostats, barometers, silent switches
  • Lights: Fluorescent lamps, metal halide lamps
Dispose of mercury-containing products safely (that is, not in the trash or down the drain). Dane County Clean Sweep accepts many types of household mercury waste.

Replace mercury-containing products with mercury-free alternatives. The Wisconsin DNR has a list of alternatives to some common mercury products.

Follow safe clean-up procedures in the event of a mercury spill.

Mercury

Mercury is TOXIC! The extremely toxic nature of mercury to living things is one reason mercury has been used in so many different ways. Mercury compounds are used to preserve medicine, prevent fungal and mildew growth, heal wounds, and preserve seeds. To protect our local streams, our wastewater treatment plant is subject to very stringent limitations for the concentration of mercury that may be present in the treated effluent. 

We need everyone’s help to keep mercury out of the wastewater.  Mercury can be found in many old products and even some modern ones. Mercury amalgamation with silver and tin is commonly referred to as dental silver fillings. Over the past 10-years, the dental industry’s adoption of amalgam separators and other source reduction efforts have led to a 50% reduction in the mercury leaving MMSD’s plant. 

The good news is that mercury-containing products almost always have less toxic alternatives. Here are some examples of products that may contain mercury: