Presidential order freezes amalgam separator rule

The Environmental Protection Agency’s anticipated rule requiring that dental practices install amalgam separators and implement best practices to control the discharge of mercury and other metals entering the waste stream has been delayed following the Trump administration’s freeze on all proposed or pending federal regulations. The freeze is intended to allow the administration time for executive review of the regulations. Once the freeze is lifted, requirements of the new rule will take effect 30 days after publication in the Federal Register, which was previously scheduled for Jan. 24.

Under the proposed EPA rule, as reported on cda.org and in the CDA Update, most dental practices must install amalgam separators that are compliant with either the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) American National Standard/American Dental Association Specification 108 for Amalgam Separators (2009) with Technical Addendum (2011) or the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) 11143 Standard (2008) or subsequent versions as long as that version requires amalgam separators to achieve at least a 95 percent removal efficiency.

CDA recognizes that dental amalgam is a safe and cost-effective restorative material. As environmental stewards, dentists are encouraged to adhere to best practices for the recycling and disposal of amalgam to reduce dental office waste. The use of dental amalgam separators is recommended to assist in this effort.

Additionally, in anticipation of this ruling, CDA has been working on behalf of its members to identify resources that make complying with the future mandate easier and more affordable.

CDA has secured the PureLife ECO II amalgam separator as the newest CDA Endorsed Program. An exceptional dental supplier and longtime CDA partner, PureLife balances patient health, planet-friendly choices and exceptional savings for the best total value.

CDA has negotiated with PureLife to offer this quality amalgam separator at a member-exclusive price. The ECO II is an ISO 11143-certified amalgam separator that retails for $499. CDA members will pay only $99 per unit with a discounted one-year replacement cartridge and disposal service agreement ($249).

CDA Practice Support is developing a new Q&A resource to help dentists understand their obligations under the ruling and will make the resource available to dentists if and when the rule is published. CDA will keep members informed about developments on cda.org and in the CDA Update.

Updated: 02/07/17

To learn more, visit cda.org/amalgam.

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