Thank you for following our three-part Blog series on non-compliant evacuation line cleaners. If you have not read Part One of this three-part Blog series, we discussed many evacuation line cleaners currently available on the market which are non-compliant due to the passing of the EPA Regulation. Part Two of this Blog examined how you could determine the evacuation line cleaners you are using is safe and compliant. The last segment of the Blog series will be illustrating evasive actions taken by manufacturers of non-compliant evacuation line cleaners.
M.A.R.S always tries to surround ourselves with ethical partners and associates; we know how honest and helpful the Dental Industry can be. It is a shame to see a select few manufacturers making unethical business decisions that can affect the whole industry. In light of the release of the EPA Regulation, some manufacturers have tired disreputable tactics to either hide the fact their product doesn’t meet the EPA Regulations or manipulate information to make their product appear compliant to the general public.
Dilution Was Their Solution
Before the release of the EPA Regulation, many evacuation line cleaners were either extremely alkaline or acidic. For the manufacturers of these products, this meant reformulating or private labeling an existing line cleaner to supply the Dental Industry with a compliant product. Unfortunately, there are a few evacuation line cleaner manufacturers who decided that a more economical solution is to dilute the product, so it meets the EPA Regulation. This was done in one of two ways:
1) The product’s instructions were changed so that the concentrated solution would be heavily diluted before entering the dental practices’ suction lines.
2) Some manufacturers chose to dilute their formula, but lowering the concentrations of the active ingredients and adding filler product like more water.
The problem with both of these solutions, the dental practice will be required to use more solution to get the same amount of cleaning, making the process more costly. Alternatively, if the instructions remain the same, dental practices will end up experiencing more service issues as their suction lines and equipment will not be receiving the same level of preventative maintenance from their evacuation line cleaner.
Dropping the Price/Sales Specials to Unload Stock
Often, Sale Representatives try to find the best value and savings for their client, which results in them not necessarily suggesting the best product, instead offering the cheapest evacuation line cleaner at that moment. In some cases, a manufacturer will provide a bonus for the Sales Representative to push their products in large quantities. In both cases, a Dental Professional should ask themselves, what is the motivation behind the manufacturer’s sudden push for sales? It could be that they are introducing the product line to the Dental Industry, a common marketing strategy or the manufacturer is trying to push old stock.
If your Dental Supplier or Service Company is attempting to convince you to buy your evacuation line cleaner in bulk, you may want to consider the following before purchasing:
1) Can I use all this product before it expires (check expiry dates)? Most good evacuation line cleaners tend to have a short shelf life, typically 1-2 years. Evacuation line cleaner is like produce; it is better when it is fresher. The longer the product sits in your storage, the weaker they tend to get. It is best to purchase evacuation line cleaner as you need it.
2) Why is the product on sale?
Look back to the second blog of this series; see what you need to read off the evacuation line cleaners’ SDS sheet. Before the EPA Regulation, when a product went on sale, the odds are the company was doing a promotion, or they had to push old stock. Now that many evacuation line cleaners are non-compliant, the manufacturer or the distributor of their products can be doing a big push to get rid of the non-compliant product.
The most prominent issue of buying these non-compliant evacuation line cleaners is your Dental Supplier will not be non-compliant for selling you the cleaner, but you may be for using the cleaner.
Some manufacturers and Service/Supply Companies have private labeled some of these non-compliant evacuation line cleaners. It would be assumed that the Service and Supply Companies have done this without knowing the product they have attached to their name is dangerous and damaging. Unfortunately, it has been common practice in the Dental Industry for a Service or Supply Company to private label a product without much research into the quality of the product.
HELPFUL TIP: EVEN IF YOUR TRUSTED SERVICE OR SUPPLY COMPANY’S NAME IS ON THE PRODUCT, DO YOUR OWN INVESTIGATION INTO THE PRODUCT BEFORE PURCHASING IT.
Bait and Switch – Failed Reverse Engineering
Bait and switch have not been a common tactic of evacuation line cleaner manufacturers, but there have been some known instances where it still happened. When a manufacturer decides to reformulate they have two options; start from scratch or private label an existing product.
In one case, a manufacturer private labeled a very effective evacuation line cleaner. The manufacturer purchased a large enough quantity of the product to last the initial launch and introduction of the “new” line cleaner to the market. When the original batch was sold off, the manufacturer tried and failed at reverse engineering the effective product, which resulted in an inferior line cleaner. Instead of accepting their mistake, they decided to push forward with their failed version of the new cleaner. The manufacturer knew, as they already had captured a significant percentage of the market, their current clients will keep purchasing the inferior product thinking it was the same formula as the initial launch.
BELOW IS A BEFORE AND AFTER PHOTO, THE LINES OF A DENTAL PRACTICE WHO WAS USING THE INFERIOR LINE CLEANER THEN SWITCHED TO THE M.A.R.S LINZ PROGRAM.
Summary on Evacuation Line Cleaners
Please remember, not all evacuation line cleaners are made the same. Each cleaner has their own combination of chemicals, enzymes, bacteria and other ingredients, each resulting in line cleaners of different usage requirements, effectiveness, and costs. Evacuation line cleaner is a very important part of infection control for your patients and preventative maintenance for your equipment. The right evacuation line cleaner will ensure your entire suction system from your operatory to your pump are functioning at peak efficiencies, protecting your staff, patients, equipment, and the environment.
If you are uncertain of the product you are currently using, contact M.A.R.S, and our experts will be able to assist you in choosing the best products for your practice.