Dental Offices Can Be Big Toxic Polluters: Dentist Takes Action to Safely Handle Mercury from Amalgam Fillings

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Dental Offices have been found to be major contributors of mercury in our water and fish. Dr. James Rota has taken the “green” approach to dentistry and uses an amalgam separator in his operatories. He will be speaking at free seminar about the dangers of the silver filling to people and the environment.

Natural Dentistry, Biological dentist, Santa Monica, Los Angeles

Dr. James Rota, Los Angeles Biological Dentist

I won’t put amalgam in anyone’s mouth, and I certainly won’t put it in the water supply.

In light of the BP oil spill, the public is becoming more aware of sources of toxicity in our environment. Mercury in any form is toxic. Dentist offices are major contributors to the amount of mercury in waste water. Dr. James Rota, DDS, is one of a growing number of Los Angeles area dentists using a dental amalgam separator in the dental office.

“Dental amalgam waste is a significant contributor of mercury discharges to municipal wastewater treatment facilities,” according to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). In a recent survey of seven major wastewater treatment plants in California, Minnesota, Ohio, and Maine, dentists were identified as the greatest contributor of mercury.

Mercury is a well-known neurotoxin. Once mercury is discharged to the environment, it converts to methylmercury, a very toxic form, and bioaccumulates in fish. The EPA has designated mercury as its Number One hazardous waste. Amalgam is made up of approximately 40% to 50% mercury, 25% silver, and a 25% to 35% mixture of copper, zinc, and tin.

Currently, many states and municipalities require the use of a dental amalgam separator in dental offices. California is not one of those states. Only holistic and environmentally conscious dentists voluntarily use dental amalgam separators, which are readily available from manufacturers such as MARS Biomed Process, Inc. These devices are typically 99% effective in removing mercury from the wastewater in the dental office.

Dr. James Rota, a Los Angeles holistic dentist, has been using dental amalgam separators in his office for over ten years. “I won’t put amalgam in anyone’s mouth, and I certainly won’t put it in the water supply. I am not required by law to have a dental amalgam separator in my office, but it is just the right thing to do.”

In October 2007, the American Dental Association recommended two very important and effective “best practices”: the use of dental amalgam separators, and the recycling of captured amalgam solid waste. The ADA claims to have set annual goals of getting 20-25% of its members in non-regulated states to purchase amalgam separators. However, the ADA still claims on its website that "dental amalgam" has little effect on the environment, and that this form of mercury isn't found in fish.

Further speaking of dental amalgams, Dr. Rota strongly urges anyone who is considering having the silver mercury filling removed from their teeth to ensure that procedure is performed by a dentist that adheres to the IAOMT protocols. For more information about dental amalgams and mercury toxicity, visit

Dr. Rota holds monthly seminars about the dangers of dental amalgams, the connection of the mouth to the rest of the body, and detoxification. The next seminar is scheduled for Wednesday, August 11, 2010, at 6:30 pm in his Westwood office. For more information about holistic or biological dentistry or details about upcoming free seminars, contact Dori Rota or visit

About Dr. James Rota:
Dr. Rota offers holistic and biological dentistry in a caring and supportive environment. During his forty years in Dentistry, Dr. Rota has been a UCLA Assistant Professor and a pioneer in Dental Ergonomics, developing many work simplification standards now practiced by dentists as common procedure, including Four-Handed Dentistry. He also helped develop the protocols for safe mercury removal from the mouth, which are commonplace in Biological Dentistry today. Dr. Rota's office is located at 924 Westwood Boulevard, Suite 505, Los Angeles, CA 90024.


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