In order to understand the future-facing mission of Dental Recycling International, Inc. (DRI), it’s important to start with the history that led to its creation; specifically, the story of the Minamata Convention, which clarifies the potentially detrimental effects of mercury exposure on human and environmental health.
The Minamata Convention on Mercury targets those human activities responsible for mercury pollution worldwide. In the 1950s, Minimata, a city located in Japan, suffered a critical issue of mercury poisoning that lasted for decades, following the discharge of industrial wastewater into Minamata Bay from a chemical manufacturer.
The resulting bioaccumulation of mercury in the bay’s fish and shellfish resulted in severe illness in anyone who had consumed them. In some cases, the illness proved fatal or resulted in severe disabilities.