How Creative Marketing is Leaving you Non-Compliant- Part Two: Understanding Advertised Service Schedules of Some Amalgam Separator Manufacturers

If you have been following this blog series, you will know our topic of discussion is the creative marketing of some amalgam separator manufacturers.

Some Amalgam Separator Manufacturers’ Creative Marketing

“M.A.R.S Bio-Med is proud to announce we have developed a car that can travel the distance around the earth on one tank of gas … OR until you need to refill the tank, whichever comes first.”

Statements like the one above are slight embellishments of current marketing strategies deployed by amalgam separator manufacturers. Though this marketing strategy is not technically based on lies, they are misleading and have fooled Dental Professionals who may not have been paying close enough attention to the fine print.

It is M.A.R.S’ goal to shine a light on this misleading information to help Dental Professionals make an informed decision when investing in an amalgam separator for their practice. Part two of our Blog Series will be discussing how to avoid being tricked by some amalgam separator manufacturers’ misleading advertised service schedules.

Manufacturer’s Required Service Schedule

Some amalgam separator manufacturers have a specific service life:

1-3 Chairs = 3 years

4-9 Chairs = 2 years

10-16 Chairs = 1 year

amalgam separator manufacturers

For these type of systems, often capacity is not an issue, the service life is more likely based off

an internal design like the lifespan of a media filter.

The advantage of the specific service life is a 3 chair practice knows that they are required to change their amalgam separator every 36 months, and a 10 chair practice knows their amalgam separator should be serviced every 12 months. This type of system usually has a service life guarantee from the manufacturer; this will ensure that the Dental Practice will be kept compliant for the time span they were promised.

 

Manufacturer’s Indirect Required Service Schedule

Other amalgam separators may not be as direct in their required service schedules:

1 – 10 chairs every 12 months
or
when it is full, whichever comes first.

With the non-specific service schedules, Dental Professionals are not given an accurate service schedule to how often to service their amalgam separator. Using simple common sense, we all know a 3 chair practice and a 10 chair practice will not have the same 12-month service schedule. The unclear service requirements are one of the reasons why these types of amalgam separators require inspections as often as daily, weekly or monthly.

 

NoteWorthy- EPA Regulation

With the release of the EPA Regulation Final Rule on July 14th, 2017, it is mandatory for every Dental Practice to keep a log of their amalgam separator’s required inspections and maintenance. For example, if you have a filter type amalgam separator:

1) You are required to change a filter every 12 months or when they are full, whichever comes first
2) Weekly inspections of the upper chamber and filter are mandatory to check for filling and clogging

MARS Flow Chart Flyer Front

These logs should be kept in your OSHA binder for 3 years, along with:

– Amalgam separator user manual
– Certificate of Disposals
– Certificate of Compliance
– Receipts of any disposal of mercury or toxic waste

Estimated Service Life Click on the provided link to view the estimated service lives of the top six amalgam separators sold in North America. The maintenance schedules are based on manufacturer specifications, service companies, and dental practices.

 

In the Last Segment of the Blog Series

Please follow up next week when we release the third installment of this Blog Series. The last segment of this blog will be explaining how Dental Professionals can determine the correct required maintenance of their current amalgam separator or the system they are considering.