On December 15, 2016, the EPA signed the final rule for the pretreatment standards to reduce discharges of mercury from dental offices into publicly owned treatment works (POTWs). Existing dental offices must comply within three years from the effective date while new dental offices must be compliant from the effective date of the rule. The EPA expects compliance with this rule will annually reduce the discharge of mercury by 5.1 tons as well as 5.3 tons of other metals found in waste dental amalgam to POTWs.
Key facts about dental clinics and mercury:
- Dental clinics are the main source of mercury discharges to POTWs.
- EPA estimates about 103,000 dental offices use or remove amalgam in the United States; almost all of these send their wastewater to POTWs.
- Dentists discharge approximately 5.1 tons of mercury each year to POTWs; most of this mercury is subsequently released to the environment.
With this information in mind, HNHS will now offer Dental Waste Recycling Kits in two different sizes, 2 gallon and 5 gallon containers.
When you request the kit, as it is a pre-pay service, you will need to pay with a credit card or mail in a check. Once we receive payment we will send out your kit.
The kits allow for the following types of dental waste: dental amalgam, separator filters, traps, and lead foil. Wet amalgam waste must be placed inside the ½ gallon inner pail.
If you are interested in obtaining the amalgam kit through HNHS please contact us at 877-681-1095 or 269-329-3200.
You can also find out more information about the EPA ruling here: https://www.epa.gov/eg/dental-effluent-guidelines