Amalgam foes want mandatory separators in Calif.

A group of California dental professionals is asking California Gov. Jerry Brown to require dental facilities to install amalgam separators.

The group, Californians for Green Dentistry, includes 18 dentists and three hygienists. On April 18 the group is sending a letter to Gov. Brown asking him to have California's Environmental Protection Agency require all general dental offices and clinics to install amalgam separators, "the most basic step in reducing dental mercury pollution."

Water customers in California must pay to remove mercury from wastewater, which also poses an environmental health risk because it contaminates fish and can cause neurological problems in children and fetuses, the group noted.

Voluntary usage of amalgam separators by dentists is low, but many California cities now require them, the group said.

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