A joint research project from the Norwegian Institute for Air Research, Golansk University of Technology, and Swedish Environmental Research Institute have quantified the cost of mercury emissions in their report, Economic Benefits from Decreased Mercury Emissions: Projections for 2020. If current trends of mercury emissions continue, they estimate the worldwide societal damages will be $6.6 billion. On the other hand, if extended emission control and maximum feasible technological reduction are put in place, emissions could drop as much as 60% and save $2.2 billion.
The Vermont Advisory Committee on Mercury Pollution released a fact sheet today entitled: “Dental Amalgam Fillings: Environmental and Health Facts for Dental Patients.” The fact sheet covers both health and environmental concerns related to amalgam. “Our fact sheet encourages Vermonters to consider alternatives to amalgam that don’t contain mercury, such as composite fillings,” said Michael Bender, former ACMP chair and MMP director in a statement. In its 2010 report, the Advisory Committee recommends that the Legislature consider prohibiting placement of amalgam in pregnant women and children. It also recommends an eventual phase-out of mercury-containing dental amalgam by 2012, due primarily to environmental concerns.
Due to potentially unsafe levels of mercury contained in light tuna, MPP and Got Mercury formally opposed its inclusion in the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children (WIC). They point out that the USDA cannot guarantee the safety of the mercury levels in canned light tuna because the FDA fails to adequately screen canned tuna and remove high-mercury canned tuna.
Chairman of the Congressional Domestic Policy Subcommittee, Dennis Kucinich, and Congresswoman Diane Watson sent a written request to EPA to reduce mercury pollution by tightening dental mercury regulations with Best Management Practices and amalgam separators. They point out that dental mercury is a serious source of mercury pollution and comprises over half of all mercury in use today, amounting to over 1000 tons. They call upon the EPA to reevaluate and update its mercury emission factors based upon more complete data and provide a plan to Congress by February 16th.
Mercury Products Campaign’s report Turning Up the Heat exposes the dismal results of the manufacturers’ voluntary mercury thermostat collection program (TRC). TRC has collected less than 5% of the approximately 100 tons of mercury from mercury thermostats removed from service. The report recommends that states step in and adopt strong laws, with financial incentives and performance standards for recycling mercury thermostats, to drastically improve the TRC program and prevent mercury pollution.