How many times have you looked at a situation and thought, “There ought to be a law!”
The Environmental Protection Agency looked at the risk of mercury in wastewater, and did just that: developed a new regulation designed to protect the public from the effects of ingesting too much mercury.
As you may know, under the new regulation, called “Effluent Limitations Guidelines and Standards for Dental Offices" (more commonly known as the “Dental Amalgam Rule”), nearly every dental practice is required to install a regulation amalgam separator. As per the regulation, which was finalized this summer, the product must be an ISO 11143:2008 certified amalgam separator or a certified ANSI/ADA Standard No. 108 amalgam separator, both with a 95 percent or greater rate of separation.
There are also provisions in the regulation for changing out the mercury container, maintaining the separator and providing documentation of compliance.
When do you have to have this technology in place? It depends. New dental practices have 90 days to install an amalgam separator. Existing dental practices have until July 14, 2020, to install a regulation one, and those practices that already have an amalgam separator installed have until July 14, 2024, to ensure that the separator meets all EPA requirements. There are some exceptions for dental schools and clinics, depending on how wastewater is managed, and mobile units that have specific specialties.
Selecting the right amalgam separator is based on various factors, such as how many chairs are in your practice, whether your practice has a wet ring or dry vacuum system and what type of space you have available for an amalgam separator.
It may sound complicated, but it doesn’t have to be.
Solmetex, an industry leader in both amalgam separation and amalgam waste solutions for nearly 20 years, has solutions that can help you ensure you’re in compliance with the law. Solmetex’s Hg5 series of products all meet or exceed federal guidelines. You can find out more about them here.
Solmetex also has additional resources on its site to help you learn about this new law and how it affects you, so you can make an educated decision.