Amalgam separator requirement in effect July 14

Peoria, Ill. — General dentist Kevin T. Nelson never considered the outflow of amalgam waste from his solo dental practice to be an environmental hazard.

But then he learned something from an earlier ADA News story on amalgam separators that quoted the Environmental Protection Agency’s website: “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.”

He reconsidered.

“I suppose the net effect of all the area dental offices could have an environmental effect, or at least that’s what the EPA tells us,” he said. “So if the government mandates amalgam separators, then we’d better comply.”