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: