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What You Need to Know about the EPA Amalgam Separator Rule

Updated: May 16

Amalgram Separator

After becoming effective on July 14, 2017, dental offices across the United States have been required to follow the EPA Amalgam Separator Rule as set forth by the Environmental Protection Agency.  The main goal of the EPA Amalgam Separator Rule is to reduce the cumulative effect that dental offices have on the introduction of mercury to the environment.

Though mercury has been thoroughly studied and found to be a detriment to the environment, dental offices in the United States have had little regulation regarding their contributions of mercury waste as a byproduct of their services. The American dental industry is responsible for an estimated 40% of the mercury found in our water supply, according to data from the EPA. In particular, mercury-based amalgam fillings used in these offices contribute heavily to the introduction of mercury into the water supply as a byproduct of their creation.

The Amalgam Separator Rule requires dental offices in the Philadelphia area to consult with a biohazard company in Philadelphia, PA, such as Choice MedWaste, to ensure that they are not depositing mercury into a publicly owned treatment works. This means that dental offices must now treat amalgam byproducts as a medical waste product, and dispose of them accordingly. This does not mean amalgam waste is to be placed in any medical waste containers. Amalgam waste must be sent to specific site to be recycled and disposed of safely.

Dental offices are also required to use evacuation cleaners in addition to their amalgam separators with a pH level between six and eight to help neutralize the effect of the mercury mixture on the environment. Office administrators are also required to provide a one-time Compliance Report to their Control Authority should any mercury or mercury by-products be introduced to a publicly owned treatment worksite.

Choice MedWaste can help dental offices who are struggling to comply with these new EPA regulations. Anyone who is in need of more information or medical waste disposal in Newark, DE is encouraged to give our customer service team a call today at 302-766-7575.

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