STOCKHOLM, May 19 (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 on Wednesday.
Mercury, also known as quicksilver, has been linked to neurological problems and is especially harmful to young children and foetuses.
It would be “difficult from the ethical point of view, but it it is nevertheless desirable to be able to decrease the emission of quicksilver,” the Chemical Inspectorate report said.
It calculated that since three quarters of Swedes have amalgam fillings, the population carries some 2.8 tonnes of mercury in their mouths.
In Sweden 70 percent of the dead are cremated, so about 1.9 tonnes end up in the air or in crematorium gas purification systems, the report said.