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ADA Center for Professional Success features help on amalgam recycling compliance, best practices

September 08, 2017

By David Burger

ADA infographic of EPA Amalgam Recycling Rule

The ADA Center for Professional Success has updated material on the amalgam recycling rule, including new information from the Environmental Protection Agency on deadlines, forms and submission processes.

Among the Center’s resources is a flow chart that summarizes much of the rule’s requirements for dentists. In addition, the Center features videos that answer frequently asked questions; a text-based FAQ page; and a page that discusses amalgam separators and waste best management practices. There are also resources available to help dentists know where to send their compliance forms.

The resources on amalgam separators are located at ADA.org/RecycleAmalgam.

The amalgam recycling rule is an implementation of the Clean Water Act and was signed by the EPA on Dec. 15, 2016. The change in administration delayed any further action until July 14, when the rule took effect. It is designed to reduce the discharge of amalgam waste from dental offices into municipal sewage, requiring most dental offices to install, maintain properly and record information regarding amalgam separators. Installation compliance for most offices will be July 14, 2020.

The rule includes exemptions, a phase-in period for existing dental offices and considerations for dental practices that have already installed the devices. As of July 14, new dental offices that discharge dental amalgam must comply immediately with the standards in this rule.

Additional features of the rule include:

• Dentists who practice in oral pathology, oral and maxillofacial radiology, oral and maxillofacial surgery, orthodontics, periodontics, and prosthodontics are exempt.
• Dentists who do not place amalgam and only remove amalgam in unplanned or emergency situations are also exempt. Those claiming exemption under this circumstance have until Oct. 20, 2020, to file a compliance report.
• Mobile dental units are exempt.
• Dentists who discharge waste into a septic field are exempt.
• Dentists who already have separators are grandfathered for 10 years or until the unit needs to be replaced, whichever is earliest.

The ADA does not maintain a list of compliant units or manufacturers. However, ADA Business Resources does have an endorsed relationship with HealthFirst that gives members a 33 percent discount on an amalgam recovery system compliant with this regulation. Contact HealthFirst at 1-888-963-6787.