Characteristics of wastewater originating from dental practices using predominantly mercury-free dental materials

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Binner, Hannah
Kamali, N.
Harding, Mairead
Sullivan, Timothy
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Elsevier B.V.
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Dental materials are currently undergoing a revolution. Mercury use, including traditional amalgam (mercury-containing) material used in dental fillings, is now being widely regulated under the Minamata convention, and dental amalgam is currently being replaced by resin formulations in dentistry. These resin-based materials can be tuned to offer varying material properties by incorporation of a range of nano- and micro-particle based 'fillers' for different dental properties and applications. However, these innovations may have a concomitant effect on the waste streams associated with common dental applications, in particular the potential for higher concentrations of novel micro- and nanomaterials within wastewater streams, and a potential route for novel nanomaterials into the wider Environment. These new materials may also mean that wastewater filtering apparatus commonly deployed at present, such as amalgam separators, may be less efficient or insufficient to capture these new filler materials in dental facility wastewater. In this work, we analyse dental wastewater streams from three dental facilities in Ireland with differing amalgam separators in place. The potential overall toxicity, particulate load and physicochemical properties are analysed. The overall risk posed by these new materials is also discussed.
Dentistry , Minamata convention , Waste streams , Nanomaterials , Particulate matter
Binner, H., Kamali, N., Harding, M. and Sullivan, T. (2022) 'Characteristics of wastewater originating from dental practices using predominantly mercury-free dental materials', Science of the Total Environment, 814, 152632 (8pp). doi: 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2021.152632
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