HARTFORD – The state’s Department of Environmental Protection will soon decide if current state law bans dentists from putting mercury in people’s teeth.

Public Act 02-90 states that after July 1, 2004, products with 250 parts per million of mercury can no longer be sold in Connecticut. According to the advocacy group the Coalition to Enforce Connecticut’s Zero Mercury Law, so-called “silver” dental fillings contain 500,000 parts per million of mercury. Each filling has about 0.75 grams of mercury, the same as a mercury thermometer, also banned under the statute. Mercury is a known toxin that causes brain damage and a host of other medical problems, according to the group. It has been associated with childhood autism as well as Alzheimer’s Disease.

DEP Commissioner Gina McCarthy has scheduled a public meeting for May 26 to hear views on whether current state law bans dentists from using silver-colored mercury fillings. The meeting will take place from 5 to 8 p.m. at the DEP, 79 Elm Street (fifth-floor Phoenix Auditorium), Hartford. The DEP will accept written comments until June 9. More info is available by calling 860-424-3048.