Did you know dental offices are the main source of mercury being sent to municipal wastewater treatment plants?
Mercury found in our environment poses serious public health risks. Because of this, in 2017 the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) adopted a new regulation that requires dental offices to capture and safely dispose of mercury found in waste dental amalgam used in fillings.
We understand how difficult it can be to decipher environmental rules, so we teamed up with the Iowa Dental Association to create this website to help you ensure compliance with this regulation.
Steps to Ensure Compliance with EPA’s Dental Rule
Install Amalgam Separators
Follow two Best Management Practices
- Do not discharge scrap amalgam waste to city sewer.
- Do not use line cleaners such as bleach, chlorine, iodine or peroxide that have a pH level higher than 8 or lower than 6.
Complete and Mail In Report
Offices in operation before 7/14/17:
- Install separator by: 7/14/20
- Submit compliance report by: 10/12/20
Offices beginning operation after 7/14/17:
- Install separator at opening of office
- Submit compliance report: within 90 days of installation
Dental facilities that do not place or do not remove dental amalgam, except in limited emergency or unplanned circumstances are exempt from any further requirements but must submit the one-time compliance report.
Dental facilities that exclusively practice one or more of the following specialties are not subject to any of the rule’s requirements:
- Oral pathology
- Oral and maxillofacial radiology
- Oral and maxillofacial surgery
Mobile units and those offices which do not discharge their amalgam wastewater to a municipal wastewater treatment plant are also not subject to the requirements of this regulation.