Provided by Solmetex

The EPA recently announced the compliance effective date of July 14, 2017 for the regulation titled “Effluent Limitations Guidelines and Standards for Dental Offices.”

Commonly referred to as the “Dental Rule,” the regulation was signed into the Federal Register; now requiring all 50 states be compliant to a new standard of Best Management Practices (BMPs) regarding amalgam waste. Originally signed on December 16, 2016, the rule was under review with the new presidential administration until last June 9.

It has a significantly larger scope, compared to 11 state mandates that have been in place since 2002.

Does it Affect Me?

Probably. The new regulation:

  • Affects dental offices nationwide that remove or replace amalgam restorations.
  • Applies to offices where dentistry is practiced, including large institutions such as dental schools and clinics, that discharge to a publicly owned treatment works (POTW).

What Does it Require?

  • Practices are now required to install an amalgam separator that is either ANSI/ADA Standard No. 108 or ISO11143:2008-certified; and has a separation rate of 95%.
  • Additionally, dental offices will be required to use amalgam waste buckets, as defined in the BMPs, for the proper disposal of contact/non-contact amalgam items, such vacuum traps and amalgam capsules.

Implementation Period for the EPA Dental Regulation

  • Existing practices have 3 years to comply.
  • New practices have 90 days to comply.
  • Offices that currently have an amalgam separator installed have 10 years to comply.


The new EPA dental regulation does not apply to:

  • Mobile units
  • 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
    • Prosthodontics.

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Solmetex offers a complete, efficient removal and recycle program for waste amalgam. Its Hg5® series of amalgam separators meets or exceeds all state and federal requirements for the safe removal of mercury in the dental office.