Aug 23, 2010 10:17 AM by Bea Karnes, News First 5

Mercury fillings? X-ray chemicals? Dentists going green

Each dentist office in this country can generate a stunning amount of toxic waste--from mercury used in fillings to processing chemicals used for x-rays. Those items must be disposed of properly, but dentists have control over other waste from their practices.

"One practice alone, an average dental practice would generate maybe up to 40-thousand pieces of plastic a year," said Dr. Steven Koos, Oral Surgeon.

That plastic is being transformed into everything from park benches to speed bumps.

Many dental instruments can be used only once, to prevent the spread of infections. Used dental instruments are being recycled into light posts and bumpers.

The company that recycles dental instruments is Environ-Dent. To encourage participation, it offers a free instrument in exchange for recycled waste.



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