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Pull teeth to reduce mercury pollution?

Amalgam tooth fillings made with mercury should be pulled out before people are cremated to cut emissions of the highly toxic metal, a Swedish government agency report proposed Wednesday.
/ Source: Reuters

Amalgam tooth fillings made with mercury should be pulled out before people are cremated to cut emissions of the highly toxic metal, a Swedish government agency report proposed Wednesday.

Mercury has been linked to neurological problems and is especially harmful to young children and fetuses.

It would be “difficult from the ethical point of view, but it it is nevertheless desirable to be able to decrease the emission,” the Chemical Inspectorate report said.

It calculated that since three quarters of Swedes have amalgam fillings, the population carries some 2.8 tons of mercury in their mouths.

In Sweden, 70 percent of the dead are cremated, so about 1.9 tons end up in the air or in crematorium gas purification systems, the report said.