2008 Assessing State and Local Regulations to Reduce Dental Mercury Emissions

subcommittee_on_domestic_policyJuly 8, 2008, the Subcommittee on Domestic Policy held a hearing entitled “Assessing State and Local Regulations to Reduce Dental Mercury Emissions.” This hearing will examine existing state and local government initiatives and regulations aimed at reducing dental mercury emissions, evaluate their success, and document the lessons learned. This hearing follows up on concerns raised during the Subcommittee’s first hearing on environmental risks of and regulatory responses to mercury dental fillings, in November 2007.

Elemental mercury and most of its compounds are extremely toxic substances that can cause chronic and acute poisoning in human beings who come into contact with them. Young children and unborn fetuses are particularly susceptible to mercury poisoning. Today, improper disposal of mercury into wastewater by industries and persons who use it has caused dangerously high contamination levels in many of the country’s water bodies. This problem has become so widespread that the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) now recommends that women who are pregnant or plan to become pregnant within the next one or two years, as well as young children avoid eating more than 6 ounces (one average meal) of fish per week. Witnesses for the hearing include:

Panel One

Mr. Michael Bender, Director, Mercury Policy Project

Dr. Rich Fischer, Former President, International Academy of Oral Medicine and Toxicology

Mr. Curt McCormick, Former Administrator, EPA Region 8, Pretreatment Coordinato

Mr. William Walsh, Counsel, American Dental Association

Panel Two

Ms. Pat Magnusson, Industrial Waste Investigator, King County, Seattle

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2008 – 07 Assessing State and Local Regulations to Reduce Dental Mercury Emissions

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