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In 2017, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) adopted a new regulation to reduce the amount of mercury being released into the environment. With dental offices continuing to be a primary source of mercury being sent out to municipal wastewater treatment plants, it potentially poses a serious public health risk. The EPA is requesting that dental offices comply with this new regulation to minimize the potential of harm.

This EPA regulation requires dental offices to capture and safely dispose of mercury that is found in waste dental amalgam used in fillings, reducing the amount of mercury that’s getting discharged from the dental offices into city sanitary sewers and municipal wastewater treatment plants.

To meet the compliance requirements, all dental offices will be required to submit a one-time compliance report and install an amalgam separator to capture waste amalgam, however, there are exceptions for certain specialists. Dental offices will also be prohibited from using corrosive line cleaners such as bleach, chlorine, iodine, or peroxide.

The Iowa Waste Reduction Center, in collaboration with the Iowa Dental Association, has created a webpage to give helpful assistance and guidelines to dental offices in Iowa to ensure and maintain compliance with this new regulation.  

 

For more information on the new regulation, check out https://iwrc.uni.edu/dental-rule

Want to download the one-time compliance report forms? Click here

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