M.A.R.S. BioMed’s President talks Amalgam Separators
This is M.A.R.S. BioMed‘s President Michael Darcy discussing the 2014 EPA amalgam separator regulations.
Below is the transcript of the video;
Mercury Exposure Information
A Guide to the Dental Amalgam Controversy
My name is Mike Darcy, President of M.A.R.S. BioMed Processes Inc., we manufacture amalgam separators for the dental industry. The EPA has come out with and sent out all the manufacturers an email, advising them that they will be implementing mandatory amalgam separators for all dental practices in the U.S.
Amalgam separators are designed to remove anywhere from 95-99.9% of mercury from dental waste water. The reason for that is the dental waste water goes from the dental office, into the sewer system. Once in the sewer system, it is released, theoretically, to the waste water treatment plants. The waster water treatment plants do not have access or any real way of removing it, as of yet; so it ends up in a primary sludge. The primary sludge is then used either for fertilizer, or other landfill, or they have a number uses for it. Unfortunately some of it is even incinerated, which is bad for mercury because it evaporates and goes down wind. What we have seen in the past, is with the installation of any amalgam separator, the mercury in the waste water is diminished significantly, and in any city, this happened in many cities across North America.
However, one of the major issues with amalgam separators, like anything else, if you buy a car, and you don’t maintain it, you probably won’t have it for too long. Amalgam separators are efficient pieces of equipment, that need to be maintained; some of the M.A.R.S. could take two years before you need to do any maintenance, and others could be six months. It really depends on the office, it depends on the piece of equipment that’s purchased. The bottom line is that if it does not get maintained, we end up seeing a massive reduction in efficiency. A very major city that was tracking the installation of amalgam separators, happen to brag a little bit about how well they were doing, until three or fours years after a full implementation, they started to notice that the mercury levels were rising. The issue when we started to take a look at what was actually happening was that there are separators that require more service than others. These separators were not being serviced, therefore, if they are not being serviced, their efficiency dropped to virtually to zero; it would be similar to not having any amalgam separators at all. When the EPA writes a new legislation for a law for the United States, they will bring in the rest of the states that have no law at the present time. If that law is written properly, which would be very nice, it should include service requirements, leaving the service requirements to the dental practices is not really fair, because the doctor’s concern is whether or not he has suction. Granted, his interest to make sure there’s no mercury in his waste water because that’s a good thing to do.
The real issue happens when amalgam separators are created and installed, and they will work and not loose suction, which is one of our mandates when we build separators, not to loose suction, so that dental practices are never out of work. However, when it’s not maintained, you still have your suction, but you don’t have the separation. Which means that all the money and effort that’s used at the beginning to make this entire program work properly, is virtually wasted and poured down the drain. So, in the case of the EPA, when the law is written, it definitely should, and actually must include some sort of verification of installation; which can be done quite easily through paperwork.
Every amalgam separator that goes out there, should have, and ours, in the case of the M.A.R.S. LibertyBOSS, the bill, the actual invoice, actually has the suggested life span. We will put down ‘a LibertyBOSS, in this office, is estimated to be,’ as example, ‘two years,’ the doctor then knows. More importantly, it’s a lot easier for the manufacturer to track it, there’s no reason why a dental distribution house, or in this case, in M.A.R.S., we track every one of them that we got. If I tell somebody it’s going to be two years, they get a call in 23 months. So it’s our job, I’m responsible, and I think that in this industry, with the impact that mercury has on the environment, people who are out there, selling amalgam separators for very good money, and the average now is about $500 a year. For $500 a year, I think the manufacturers are responsible for making sure that it is done, the dentist has other things to do. If we want to take his money for a separator, let’s do the full thing, go cradle the grave, and follow it through, and call him up and say ‘it’s due for a change,’ and that way the problem will be solved.