Mercury Policy Project

Promoting policies to eliminate mercury use and reduce mercury exposure

Reports

Facing Up to the Hazards of Mercury Tooth Fillings, Mercury Policy Project, July 2008.

The report lays out the rationale for placing a user fee on the continued use of dental mercury as a means to cover the costs of preventing dental mercury pollution from environmental release.

 

Shedding Light on Mercury Risks from CFL Breakage, Prepared by Edward Groth, PhD, For The Mercury Policy Project, February 2008.

The report recommends that sensitive populations should take extra precautions to reduce risks associated with CFL breakage, but says that CFLs generally can and should still be used in everyone’s homes until a nontoxic light bulb becomes available. The report also recommends the adoption of more comprehensive environmental and human health guidelines by decision makers that, in addition to energy-efficiency, address other concerns.

 

Hold the Mercury: How to Avoid Mercury When Buying Fish, Oceana and Mercury Policy Project, February 2008.

Hold the Mercury includes the results of mercury tests on 94 fish samples collected from sushi bars and grocery stores from cities across the country.  The high mercury levels found in fresh tuna and sushi as well as swordfish demonstrate the need to post the Food and Drug Administration’s advice about mercury in seafood at grocery stores. 

 

DON’T LET IT GO TO YOUR HEAD: Phasing Out Mercury Tooth Fillings, Mercury Policy Project and Vermont Public Interest Research and Education Fund, January 2007.

The report outlines the many reasons to phase out mercury in dentistry–ranging from indirect toxic releases into wastewater, landfills and farmers’ fields to more direct releases from dental clinics, human wastes and cremation.  The report’s conclusions are supported by recommendations by the Vermont Air Pollution Control Division and the Advisory Committee on Mercury Pollution to phase out the use of mercury dental amalgam.

 

IS OUR TUNA “FAMILY-SAFE”? Mercury in America’s Favorite Fish, Defenders of Wildlife, Mercury Policy Project, Center for Science in the Public Interest, July 2006.

Testing by Defenders of Wildlife shows higher-than-expected levels of mercury in canned light tuna.  The report recommends precautionary measures to protect low income and vulnerable Americans from exposure to mercury.

 

What Patients Don’t Know: Dentists’ Sweet Tooth for Mercury, Mercury Policy Project, Consumers for Dental Choice, New England Zero Mercury Campaign, Sierra Club California, Clean Water Action California, February, 2006.

The report recommends that consumers be provided with information about mercury fillings and alternatives, so dental patients have the same informed choice as patients in doctors’ offices for other procedures; dental clinics should warn patients, particularly pregnant women and young children, to avoid mercury exposure; the dental industry should no longer be allowed to burden the environment with mercury pollution; and dental insurance plans should provide equal coverage for mercury and non-mercury fillings, thereby assuring the patient and dentist the freedom to choose.

 

Risks and Benefits of Fish Consumption: Yes, Mercury is a Problem, Prepared by Edward Groth, PhD, For Oceana and Mercury Policy Project, December 2005.

The report summarizes decades of scientific research indicating that mercury levels in fish are high enough to pose health risks to moderate and heavy fish eaters and exposes weaknesses in recent reports from the Harvard Center for Risk Analysis (HCRA), which were funded by the tuna industry and other fishing interests.

 

Fair Warning: Why Grocery Stores Should Tell Parents About Mercury in Fish, Oceana, Mercury Policy Project, Clean Water Action, New England Zero Mercury Campaign, September 2005.

This report provides results of testing which confirm that store-bought swordfish and tuna contain levels of mercury that the federal government has determined may be hazardous to human health, particularly children. The analysis was more comprehensive than any recently performed by FDA and included samples purchased at popular supermarket chains such as Safeway, Shaw’s, Albertsons, Trader Joe’s and Whole Foods–all stores that are required to post mercury warnings in California.

 

Taking a Bite Out of Dental Mercury Pollution: The 2005 Report Card on Dental Mercury Use and Release Reduction, New England Zero Mercury Campaign, April 2005.

The report evaluates and grades the New England states on their efforts to reduce dental mercury pollution. The report’s number one recommendation is that dentists reduce their use of mercury fillings in consideration of environmental impacts.

 

TURNING UP THE HEAT: ELIMINATING MERCURY THERMOSTATS FROM THE MARKETPLACE, New England Zero Mercury Campaign, February 2005.

The New England Zero Mercury Campaign released this report challenging the New England states to recognize the risks of mercury-switch thermostats, as well as the benefits of non-mercury, energy efficient alternatives, and to develop the regulations necessary to prevent the sale and haphazard disposal of mercury containing thermostats.