EPA signs amalgam separator regulation

June 16, 2017

The 'Dental Rule' requires all states to be compliant with a new standard of Best Management Practices regarding amalgam waste.Solmetex, the market leader in amalgam separation with the Hg5TM series of amalgam separators, is pleased to announce the EPA’s signing and publishing of the “Effluent Limitations Guidelines and Standards for Dental Category."

Solmetex, the market leader in amalgam separation with the Hg5TM series of amalgam separators, is pleased to announce the EPA’s signing and publishing of the “Effluent Limitations Guidelines and Standards for Dental Category."

The regulation, commonly referred to as the “Dental Rule” was signed into the Federal Register, now requiring all 50 states to be compliant with a new standard of Best Management Practices (BMPs) regarding amalgam waste. The regulation was originally signed on Dec. 16, 2016, but has been "under review" with the new presidential administration until June 9.

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“We are very excited by the passage of the EPA’s 'Dental Rule,'" states Michael Toole, vice president of sales and marketing. “This regulation will greatly reduce the amount of mercury present in the waste water. Solmetex is committed to being a comprehensive resource in helping dentists be part of this process in making them compliant.”

This new rule requires certain dental offices to comply with BMPs when handling amalgam waste. Practices are now required to either install an ISO 11143:2008 certified amalgam separator or an ANSI/ADA Standard No. 108 certified amalgam separator at a separation rate of 95 percent. Additionally, dental offices will be required to use an amalgam waste bucket, as defined in the BMPs, for the proper disposal of contact/non-contact amalgam items such as vacuum traps and amalgam capsules.

Lauren Nagel, vice president of finance and operations, states, “For the past 16 years, it has been the primary focus of Solmetex to promote Best Management Practices in the dental offices. We are excited to be able to help dental offices stay in compliance and thus create a cleaner environment on a larger platform nationwide.”

The new regulation will affect dental offices nationwide that remove or replace amalgam restorations, a vast improvement over just 11 individual state mandates that have been using amalgam separators since 2002. In sum, the new dental rule states:

  • Existing dental offices have three years to install a certified amalgam separator; new dental practices have 90 days to install an amalgam separator.

  • Dental offices must use either an ISO 11143:2008 certified amalgam separator or an ANSI/ADA Standard No. 108 for amalgam separator at a separation rate of 95 percent.

  • Dental offices must employ the use of an amalgam waste bucket(s) for the proper and responsible recycling of dry amalgam waste.

  • Line cleaners must be between a pH of 6-8.

“The passage of this rule brings attention to a greater environmental issue that will naturally put the dentist in an even more positive light from the perspective of their patients. It will relay the message that the dental practice not only cares for their health care but also the environment that we all share.” states Nick Mozzicato, CEO of Solmetex.

For questions regarding the regulation, visit www.solmetex.com/regulation or contact Solmetex at 508-393-5115.