Manufacturers and Dental Supply/Service Companies Simply Quoting the EPA Regulation may NOT Keep You Compliant – Diluted Amalgam Separator Rule

Regarding the diluted EPA Regulation, M.A.R.S® applauds anyone who takes the time to try to help Dental Practices understand the EPA Regulation and ensure their compliance. Unfortunately, there is a lot of misinformation released on compliance, that it often confuses Dental Professionals and leaves them non-compliant.


Figure 1 – ADA EPA Regulation Flowchart with wrong information. The highlighted sections are wrong; the passages on the right are the corrections from the EPA Regulation.

M.A.R.S® has created this series to help Dental Professionals understand the history of the EPA Regulation, who will be regulating Dental Practices, what they may require, and how to best ensure your compliance. The first segment of this series explains the history of the EPA Regulation, why it was created, and who will be regulating Dental Practices.

Today we will be discussing why simply following the diluted EPA Regulation may not keep Dental Professionals compliant and the flaw in the regulation released by the EPA on amalgam separators.

Diluted EPA Regulation

According to many members of the board who help create the initial draft of the EPA Regulation, much of the standards and requirements set for compliance was removed or adulterated. The changes in the Regulation appears to be in favor of Dental Practices, but what may do not understand, it could end up cost Dental Practices hundreds, if not thousands of dollars.

M.A.R.S has been told by many members of the experts who wrote the initial regulation that a Dental Organization got involved and lessened the regulations in an attempt to help Dental Professionals. So how could this hurt Dental Practices? Simple, the creating of the EPA Regulation now gives the power to Local Regulators, like Water Treatment Plants, to create and implement their own standards. Even though the diluted EPA Regulation has bare-minimum requirements, these local regulators can and will supersede the standards set by the regulation.

Unfortunately, the standards released by the EPA will not allow most Water Treatment Plants to meet their own discharge limits. Furthermore, many of these Local Regulators do not realize the standards set by the EPA Regulation will not allow many Water Treatment Plants to meet their discharge standards. The reason this will be bad for Dentists, local standards can and will change. A Water Treatment Plant has every legal right to require a Dental Practice to reinvest in better technology or strengthen the local requirements to force the polluters to reduce their mercury discharge levels. The sudden change of standards will result in a Dentist in reinvesting in more equipment, changing procedures, and/or paying discharge fines.

What are the Major Issues with the EPA Regulation?

Follow our next series as we discover what parts of the EPA Regulation may cause problems for Dental Professionals.