Mercury is a toxic element that persists in the environment and accumulates in the food chain. It is unique among metals in possessing a high vapor pressure and the saturation concentration of mercury in air increases dramatically with increasing temperature. About 80% of inhaled mercury vapor is retained in the body, and dissolved Hg vapor concentrates in circulating red blood cells. Hg is carried throughout the body crossing both the blood-brain and placental barriers. The United States Environmental Protection Agency has targeted mercury for “virtual elimination”.
Online courses are available that cover the topics of the management of mercury in dental-unit wastewater and solid waste disposal issues and dental amalgam.
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