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medical waste

Important reminder to all ISDS members on amalgam separators!

The compliance date, meaning the date that existing sources subject to the rule must comply with the standards in this rule, is July 14, 2020.

The amalgam separator rule is effective as of July 14, 2017. The compliance date, meaning the date that existing sources subject to the rule must comply with the standards in this rule, is July 14, 2020.

The amalgam recycling rule is an implementation of the Clean Water Act and was signed by the Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) on December 15, 2016.

The date for compliance with this rule for existing offices is July 14, 2020. Newly purchased or built offices must comply within 90 days of taking ownership (effective 7/14/2017).

For those already equipped with separators: the old separator satisfies the new rule until ten years from issuance of rule (June 14, 2027) or until the old separator is replaced, whichever comes first.

Dental offices must also submit a compliance report. Additionally, they will need to have maintenance and inspection records available.

Who must comply?

Most practicing dentists who discharge wastewater into a publicly owned treatment work (POTW), such as a municipal sewer system, must comply. Exemptions are as follows:

  • Dentists who exclusively practice one or more of the following dental specialties: oral pathology, oral and maxillofacial radiology, oral and maxillofacial surgery, orthodontics, periodontics, or prosthodontics.
  • Mobile dental units.
  • Dentists on septic systems.
  • Exempt from installing a separator, but must file a one-time compliance report:
    • Dentists who do not place amalgam and only remove amalgam in unplanned or emergency situations (EPA equates this with less than 5% of procedures including amalgam removal).
  • Dentists are encouraged to follow dental best management practices for amalgam waste handling and disposal.
  • The EPA requires amalgam separators to achieve at least a 95% removal efficiency.
  • The EPA final rule on amalgam separators is effective as of July 14, 2017, and the date for compliance is July 14, 2020.

Illinois State Dental Society endorses three companies for Amalgams Separator Solutions. (click here to view all information about our endorsed providers)

Dental Recycling North America
800.360.1001 Ext. 2 • drna.com/isds 

R&D Services
800.816.4995 • www.TheAmalgamCollector.com 

SolmeteX
800.216.5505 • www.solmetex.com

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