Dental clinics: A point pollution source, not only of mercury but also of other amalgam constituents

Shraim, Amjad, Alsuhaimi, Awadh and Al-Thakafy, Jalal Thamer (2011) Dental clinics: A point pollution source, not only of mercury but also of other amalgam constituents. Chemosphere, 84 8: 1133-1139. doi:10.1016/j.chemosphere.2011.04.034

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Author Shraim, Amjad
Alsuhaimi, Awadh
Al-Thakafy, Jalal Thamer
Title Dental clinics: A point pollution source, not only of mercury but also of other amalgam constituents
Journal name Chemosphere   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0045-6535
Publication date 2011-08
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1016/j.chemosphere.2011.04.034
Volume 84
Issue 8
Start page 1133
End page 1139
Total pages 7
Place of publication Oxford, United Kingdom
Publisher Pergamon
Collection year 2012
Language eng
Formatted abstract
Current literature suggests that amalgam waste from dental clinics is a point-source of mercury pollution in the environment. However, apart from mercury, other amalgam constituents (e.g. Ag, Sn, Cu, and Zn) in dental clinics’ wastewater have not been reported in the literature before. The objective of this study was to evaluate the concentrations of mercury and other metals in the wastewater of some dental clinics and the influent of a wastewater treatment plant in Al-Madinah Al-Munawarah (KSA). Samples were collected over a 2-month period from three dental clinics and analyzed for metals using ICP-MS. The mean concentrations of Hg, Ag, Sn, Cu, and Zn in the samples were 5.3 ± 11.1, 0.49 ± 0.96, 3.0 ± 10.7, 10.0 ± 14.5, and 76.7 ± 106 mg L−1, respectively. Additionally, high concentrations of other metals such as Mg (14.4 ± 15.2 mg L−1), Mn (3.0 ± 4.6 mg L−1), Fe (3.0 ± 4.5 mg L−1), Sr (1.6 ± 2.4 mg L−1), and Ba (6.9 ± 10.3 mg L−1) were also found. These values are much higher than the local permissible limits. Most of the metals of interest were also detected in the influent of the wastewater treatment plant. This renders dental clinics wastewater a hazardous waste which should be properly treated before it is discharged into the environment.

Highlights: ► Wastewater samples were collected over a 2-month period from 3 KSA dental clinics. ► Metals concentrations of all samples were much higher than permissible limits. ► Such wastewater is hazardous waste, which needs pretreatment before disposal. ► The source of metals in investigated wastewaters is dentistry materials and tools. ► Apart from Hg, other amalgam constituents in such wastes were not reported before.
Keyword Dental wastewater
Mercury pollution
Wastewater treatment plants
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status UQ
Additional Notes Available online 4 May 2011.

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: Official 2012 Collection
National Research Centre for Environmental Toxicology Publications
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Citation counts: TR Web of Science Citation Count  Cited 7 times in Thomson Reuters Web of Science Article | Citations
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Created: Fri, 06 May 2011, 09:39:51 EST by Manjit Sanghera on behalf of National Res Centre For Environmental Toxicology