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EPA's New Rule and Compliance Assistance

In June of 2017, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) adopted a new regulation to reduce the amount of mercury discharged from dental offices into city sanitary sewers. Mercury along with other metals can be found in dental amalgam used in fillings. This regulation requires offices who either place or remove amalgam to capture and safely dispose of the waste amalgam.
In June of 2017, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) adopted a new regulation to reduce the amount of mercury discharged from dental offices into city sanitary sewers (40 CFR Part 441). Mercury along with other metals can be found in dental amalgam used in fillings. This regulation requires offices who either place or remove amalgam to capture and safely dispose of the waste amalgam, doing so will significantly decrease the amount of mercury released into the environment.

In order to comply with this regulations, all dental offices in the state, with the exception of certain specialists, will be required to submit a one-time compliance report. In addition to completing the compliance report, existing and new dental offices that place or remove amalgam will be required to install an amalgam separator to capture the waste amalgam and will be prohibited from using corrosive line cleaners such as bleach, chlorine, iodine or peroxide. 

To assist dental offices in Iowa, the Iowa Waste Reduction Center (IWRC) in collaboration with the Iowa Dental Association (IDA), has created a webpage and assistance plan. The webpage outlines the steps dental offices will need to take to ensure and maintain compliance with the new regulation. Links to the one-time reporting forms will be available on the webpage based on city and region.

IWRC staff will also be available at the IDA district meetings this spring and will have a booth at the state-level meeting to brief dental offices on the regulation and to go through the forms. IWRC staff can be contacted at (319) 273-8095 or iwrc@uni.edu with any questions.
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