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Improper Waste Disposal of Silver-Mercury Amalgam


The objective of this work was to estimate the quantity of mercury residue present in dental amalgam that is generated and discarded in the city of Manaus (Amazon-Brazil). For this purpose, the locations of amalgam usage (10 public and 31 private dental clinics), the method by which the residue is discarded (14 clinics improper disposal), and the analysis of total mercury in the sediment of the controlled landfill (2.68–3 μgHg/g), were described. It was concluded that: there are dental clinics in the city that discard mercury residue into the common waste disposal system, which contravenes health safety standards.

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This work was supported by CNPq (Brazilian National Research Council) and MCT (Brazilian Ministry of Science and Technology). We are grateful to Patrícia Araújo (CETEM/LEMA) for her valuable analytical support in metal analysis, and Taia Catia Maia for granting access to the controlled landfill.

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Correspondence to R. T. Honda.

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Lollobrigida de Souza, J.P.B., Nozawa, S.R. & Honda, R.T. Improper Waste Disposal of Silver-Mercury Amalgam. Bull Environ Contam Toxicol 88, 797–801 (2012). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00128-012-0554-6

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  • Silver amalgam
  • Mercury
  • Landfill