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Amalgam separator deadline approaching quickly

October 15, 2019

By David Burger

 Amalgam Kit Health First

Amalgam kit: ADA members buying through HealthFirst receive discounts for amalgam waste recovery products and services.

Under a federal rule adopted by the Environmental Protection Agency in 2017, many dental practices will need an installed amalgam separator by July 14, 2020. A few practices may be exempt, but some of those that are still need to submit a form to affirm their exemption from the rule.

“Although most dental offices currently use some type of basic filtration system to reduce the amount of mercury solids passing into the sewer system, dental offices are the single largest source of mercury at sewage treatment plants,” the EPA notes on its website.

The EPA deadline provides a minimum standard to be met by dental offices on a national level. State and local regulations may have more stringent requirements with earlier deadlines or fewer exempt categories. State or local regulations cannot directly conflict with federal regulations, but they can be more restrictive.

General dentist Dr. Stephen Radack, based in Erie, Pennsylvania, was an early adopter.

“I do still occasionally place amalgam and of course remove it every day as a general dentist,” Dr. Radack said. “You may not place amalgam, but almost all practitioners have to remove failing amalgam. I am just not sure what the hesitancy is to purchase the unit and get it installed. It was easy, you are in compliance and it is the right thing to do.”

The ADA Center for Professional Success has resources available for member dentists looking for more information on the looming amalgam rule. The web resource includes:

• A flowchart to help dentists determine what course of action to take.
• In-depth FAQs from the ADA and the EPA on how to comply with the rule.
• An on-demand webinar in which ADA and EPA representatives provide information and answer questions from participating professionals.

Dr. Radack purchased an amalgam separator from HealthFirst, the amalgam solution endorsed by ADA Member Advantage. HealthFirst's Amalgam Recovery Program offers ADA Members a cost-effective, worry-free compliance solution with exclusive, members-only pricing.

Stephen Rathman
Dr. Radack
“The price was very reasonable,” Dr. Radack said. “I had a great conversation with my rep and he helped me select the right unit for the size of my office and then followed up once the unit arrived. It was very easy to install.”

“Please do your research and give HealthFirst a call to see what they can do for you,” Dr. Radack advised other dentists. “I know in Erie the water authority will be watching and waiting to make sure the dentists they serve are compliant.”

ADA members buying through HealthFirst receive a special discount of up to 50% off list price for the Rebec amalgam waste separator. Enter “ADAMEMBER” at the discount code during checkout at or speak to a HealthFirst compliance counselor at 1-800-331-1984.