<p>Amalgam separators, wastewater permits, regulated waste management, and radiation safety.</p>
Recommendations to discontinue patient shielding are increasing, but, for now, dentists must continue to follow California regulation that requires patients be draped with a protective lead or lead-equivalent apron during dental radiography.
Dentists and X-ray machine registrants must properly document occupational exposure to radiation and maintain those records in anticipation of periodic inspections. In California, dental offices are to be inspected every five years and may be scheduled for an on-site inspection.
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. The EPA rule, published in June 2017, requires dental facilities to collect all waste amalgam.
Some hospitals in the U.S. have stopped the practice of covering patients’ reproductive organs during radiographic examinations, but CDA reminds dentists that current state regulation requires that protective aprons be used during dental radiography. The move by hospitals follows an April 2019 recommendation by the American College of Radiology and other medical groups, Kaiser Health News reported last month.
Health care facilities that produce pharmaceutical hazardous waste are required to properly manage the disposal of that waste according to the Environmental Protection Agency. Among other provisions, the EPA’s finalized rule issued in July prohibits facilities from pouring pharmaceutical hazardous waste down sink drains or toilets, a practice known as “sewering.”
Most dental facilities that have not installed an amalgam separator to comply with a rule published in June 2017 by the Environmental Protection Agency must install an amalgam separator by July 14, 2020. CDA Practice Support’s resource “Amalgam Separator Requirement — Q&A” was recently updated to reflect recent developments and can assist members with compliance.
No later than Aug. 30, 2018, dental practices that employ 10 or more employees must post at the entrance of the office the new Proposition 65 warning notice, unless the practice chooses instead to provide a warning with an informed consent form. The form must be signed by the patient prior to exposure to the chemicals regulated by Proposition 65.