The Environmental Protection agency has reissued their new guidelines for the disposal of amalgam into wastewater. Originally issued in December, 2016, then rescinded by executive order in January, 2017, these new rules take effect on July 14, 2017. But don’t panic, most existing dental offices will have three years to reach full compliance by July 14, 2020. However, any new dental practices opening on or after that date will need to comply immediately.
Who Made the New Amalgam Disposal Rules?
The EPA worked closely with the American Dental Association (ADA) to establish current amalgam disposal rules, which closely follow the ADA’s best management practices. In a statement, ADA President Gary L. Roberts said, “We believe this new rule—which is a federal standard—is preferable to a patchwork of rules and regulations across various states and localities.”
Why Proper Dental Amalgam Disposal Matters
The new regulations will reduce by more than 5 tons the amount of mercury dental practices put into sewers. And it’s not just mercury; these rules will also keep an additional 5.3 tons of other metals out municipal water systems.
Mercury is a harmful neurotoxin. When ingested, it may cause adverse health effects in people of all ages, but it’s most damaging to developing fetuses. In fact, dental offices are the largest source of the mercury that ends up in sewers and publicly owned treatment works. Dental professionals play a vital role in preventing the harmful effects of mercury in the environment.
EPA Compliant Amalgam Waste Disposal
When installed and used properly, an amalgam separator is highly effective in helping your dental practice achieve compliance with EPA rules for amalgam waste disposal. Widely seen as the “gold standard,” the Solmetex® NXT Hg5® Series is available in a range of sizes to accommodate every dental practice. These easy-to-operate systems are designed for flexibility in hard-to-fit areas. For example, the Mini fits easily easily under a counter, while the High-volume unit can accommodate up to 20 operatories.
SmartPractice is Your Partner in Compliance
We look forward to helping you achieve compliance with the new EPA rules for amalgam disposal. Talk with your SmartPractice rep to help determine the amalgam separators and amalgam disposal service that are the right fit for your practice. We are here to help you through this transition.