Most dental facilities that have not already installed an amalgam separator to comply with an Environmental Protection Agency rule must do so by July 14, as CDA previously reported.
The EPA rule, published in June 2017, requires dental facilities to collect all waste amalgam, including amalgam in chairside traps, screens, vacuum pump filters, instruments or collection devices, and prohibits the use of line cleaners that have a pH lower than 6 or greater than 8, are acidic or contain oxidizers.
A facility is exempt if it certifies it does not place dental amalgam and does not remove amalgam except in limited circumstances or if it is one of six exempt dental specialties.
The rule is intended to reduce the discharge of mercury from dental offices into publicly owned treatment works, which discharge treated wastewater to rivers, lakes, bays and the ocean. Amalgam separators capture the mercury prior to discharge and allow it to be recycled or properly disposed. California has additional amalgam waste management requirements.
Dentists should consider the availability of technicians to install the amalgam separator in order to meet the July 14 deadline.
Dental facilities that installed properly functioning amalgam separators prior to June 14, 2017, are required to replace their separators by June 14, 2027.
The CDA Practice Support resource “Amalgam Separator Requirement ― Q&A” answers questions about compliance dates and expectations, specifications, documentation and record-keeping requirements, including the requirement that dental facilities submit a one-time compliance report to their local sanitation agency. CDA members can also use the sample “Amalgam Separator Inspection and Maintenance Log.”
CDA worked with PureLife Dental, a CDA Endorsed Program, to help make complying with the EPA’s requirement easier and more affordable. PureLife’s PureWay ECO II+ amalgam separator is compliant and available to members for only $199 per unit with a discounted one-year replacement cartridge and disposal service agreement.
Learn more about the PureLife PureWay Eco II+ offer.
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