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Oral Health Topics

Amalgam Separators

Overview

Amalgam separators are devices designed to remove amalgam waste particles from dental office wastewater. Without an amalgam separator, these particles can be suctioned into the dental unit vacuum line and discharged into the public sewer system.

The effort to reduce amalgam waste discharge from the dental office stems from increasing pressure facing local wastewater treatment plants to reduce the concentration of mercury in effluent from their plants and minimize the concentration of mercury in sludge.

The ADA’s “Best Management Practices for Amalgam Waste“ (BMPs) include the use of amalgam separators. Although there is no national regulation requiring the installation of amalgam separators, state and local requirements exist in some areas. Check with your state or local dental society to see if any requirements exist in your area.

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