Environmental Health Scientist Sue Casteel, works for The Agency of Toxic Substances and Disease Registry. We interviewed her to discuss the toxic effects of mercury vapor as found in the 1994 ATSDR authored “toxicological profile on mercury“, which they revised in 1999. This interviews shows how our government is gravely concerned with people’s exposure to mercury vapor, but they fail to hold any concerns about mercury fillings, which are the number one source of constant mercury vapor and particulate matter in those who have them.
The Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR)
continually fails in its mission to serve the public through responsive public health actions to protect people from environmental hazards and toxic exposures. The Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR) has yet to educate communities, partners, and policy makers about the health risks associated with dental mercury fillings.
The Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry went so far as to exclude dental amalgam from their 2008 report “Children’s Exposure to Elemental Mercury A National Review of Exposure Events”, even though dental amalgam fillings are made of 50% elemental mercury and has consistently been found in the scientific literature to be the largest source of mercury exposure in the general population.
In Franklinville, New Jersey, an industrial building formerly used to manufacture mercury thermometers was renovated
and converted in 2004 to a children’s daycare facility [ATSDR 2007b]. Unfortunately, the renovated property was not
cleaned up prior to renovation, leaving residual contamination with elemental mercury [ATSDR 2007b]. Such
contamination can cause significant exposure to children or adults who are present. In these types of exposure events
the persons exposed may require medical evaluation and biomonitoring. Congress directed the Agency for Toxic
Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR) to further investigate and characterize these exposures.
The Explanatory Statement to the Fiscal Year (FY) 2008 Appropriation for the Agency for Toxic Substances and
Disease Registry stated the following:
From within the amount appropriated, ATSDR is expected to assess the extent of children’s exposure to mercury
from former industrial sites and other sources nationwide, and to issue a report of its findings 12 months after
the date of enactment of this bill. (Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2008 Committee Print of the House
Committee on Appropriations on H.R. 2764/Public Law 110-161, page 1278).
This report was prepared by ATSDR in response to this request.
To address the Congressional directive, ATSDR in collaboration with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC),
formed the ATSDRCDC Mercury Workgroup. The objectives of the workgroup were to:
1) identify the common sources of elemental mercury exposure in children; and
2) describe the location, demographics, and proportion of children exposed or potentially exposed to elemental
mercury in the United States.
In this document, elemental mercury refers to metallic mercury, a silvery liquid that vaporizes slowly at room temperature.
Specifically excluded from this report are mercury exposures from coal-burning facilities, dental amalgams, fish
consumption, medical waste incinerators, and vaccines. These exclusions are necessary to focus the report on the
elemental mercury exposure events that formed the impetus for the Congressional directive.
|Mercury Sources||Types of Mercury|
|dental amalgams||Elemental Mercury / Mercury Vapor|
|medical waste incinerators||Methylmercury|