Dental Amalgam

About the Rule

Dental amalgam informational postcard
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Effective July 14, 2017 the U.S. EPA adopted Effluent Limitations Guidelines and Standards for the Dental Category Final Rule to reduce the discharge of mercury-containing amalgam from dental practices into publicly owned treatment works (POTWs). (40 CFR Part 441). Summary of dental amalgam rule Facilities Impacted Dental offices, schools and clinics where dentistry is practiced that discharge to a publicly owned treatment work (POTW) (e.g., municipal sewage system) are subject to this rule. It does not apply to mobile units or to offices where the practice of dentistry consists only of the following dental specialties: oral pathology, oral and maxillofacial radiology, oral and maxillofacial surgery, orthodontics, periodontics, or prosthodontics.

Summary of dental amalgam rule

Facilities Impacted

Dental offices, schools and clinics where dentistry is practiced that discharge to a publicly owned treatment work (POTW) (e.g., municipal sewage system) are subject to this rule. It does not apply to mobile units or to offices where the practice of dentistry consists only of the following dental specialties: oral pathology, oral and maxillofacial radiology, oral and maxillofacial surgery, orthodontics, periodontics, or prosthodontics.

If you discharge to a POTW with a pretreatment program, you may have different reporting requirements. Check the State of Kansas Approved Pretreatment Cities list to see if your city has a pretreatment program and who you would need to contact for further information.

Required Actions

In order to comply with the regulation, dental offices must--

  • operate and maintain an amalgam separator compliant with ISO11143 (2008)
     
  • avoid discharging scrap amalgam or oxidizing or acidic cleaners with a pH less than 6 or greater than 8, such as bleach, chlorine or peroxide; and
     
  • certify their practice's compliance with the regulation by submitting a one-time compliance report and retain a copy for their records.    

Existing Sources (those discharging prior to July 14, 2017) must be in compliance with the standards by July 14, 2020 and submit a one-time compliance report certifying such by October 12, 2020.     

New Sources (those starting discharging to the sewer after July 14, 2017) must be in compliance with the standards immediately and submit a one-time compliance report certifying such within 90 days after the first discharge to a POTW. If your facility is a new source that has been operating for more than 90 days and has not yet submitted a one-time compliance report, please submit as soon as possible.

One-Time Compliance Report

Three Ways to Submit:     

Online
Fill out the online form. A valid e-mail address is required to submit this form online.  You will verify the document and be able to download a copy for your own records through the e-mail address you provide when you first access the document.          

By Mail
Download the form, complete, and mail to:
Kansas Environmental Assistance Program   
2323 Anderson Ave., Suite 300     
Manhattan, KS 66502
    

By Email     
Download the form, complete, scan and email to amalgamrule@ksu.edu.

Make sure to retain a copy of this form for your own records.

 

Best Management Practices

Do... 
...use pre-capsulated alloys and stock capsule-size variety.
...recycle used disposable amalgam capsules.
...salvage, store, and recycle non-contact amalgam.
...salvage contact amalgam pieces from restorations after removal and then recycle contents. 
...recycle teeth containing dental amalgam restorations and verify whether or not teeth need disinfection.
...manage amalgam waste through recycling as much as possible.
...use line cleaners that minimize dissolution of amalgam.

Don’t...     
...use bulk mercury.     
...put used disposable amalgam capsules into biohazard containers.     
...put non-contact amalgam waste in biohazard containers, infectious waste containers or regular garbage.     
...rinse devices containing amalgam over drains or sinks.     
...dispose of extracted teeth that contain amalgam restorations in biohazard containers, infectious waste containers, sharps containers, or regular garbage.    ...flush amalgam down the drain/toilet.     
...use bleach or chlorine-containing cleaners to flush wastewater lines.

Related Resources

Questions? Check out Frequently Asked Questions, email  questions to amalgamrule@ksu.edu or call (800) 578-8898