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Introduction: In Vermont, cremation has increasingly become an alternative to interment of an intact body. Many of the bodies being cremated contain dental amalgams, which are commonly used by dentists to repair dental erosion and caries (cavities). They are an economical option for caries repair, and remain popular. Roughly one third of all caries fillings done in 2002 in the U.S. utilized amalgam. Amalgam is a metal alloy containing as much as 50% mercury by volume, a metal that is a known toxicant. Dental amalgams, may constitute a source of low level, continual exposure for those with these dental devices in situ and may be released to the atmosphere upon cremation. The goal of this project was to investigate: 1. The status of the scientific opinion on potential health effects that may be associated with having dental amalgams. 2. To help refine State estimates of potential mercury emissions from Vermont crematoria.


Heidi Hales, PhD, Vermont Department of Environmental Conservation

Razelle Hoffman-Contois, MS, Vermont Department of Health

Jan Carney, MD, MPH, University of Vermont College of Medicine


Vermont Department of Health Environmental Health Division


Environmental Health, Public Health Infrastructure, Social Determinants of Health

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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 3.0 License

Cremations, Dental Amalgams, and You