Today, the National Journal reported that EPA has released a proposed rule that would limit the amount of pollutants, including mercury, discharged from dental offices as a result of procedures involving dental amalgam. According to EPA’s fact sheet:
The proposed rule would require all affected dentists to control mercury discharges to POTWs by reducing their discharge of dental amalgam to a level achievable through the use of the best available technology (amalgamseparators) and the use of Best Management Practices. In order to simplify compliance with, and enforcement of the numeric reduction requirements, the proposed rule would allow dentists to demonstrate compliance by installing, operating and maintaining amalgam separators. The proposal also includes a provision by which dental offices that have already installed amalgam separators that do not meet the proposed amalgam removal efficiency would still be considered in compliance with the rule for the life of the amalgam separator.
For more information on the proposed rule, including supporting documentation (when it is made available), visit http://water.epa.gov/scitech/wastetech/guide/dental/.