M.A.R.S Bio-Med has a wealth of knowledge on amalgam separators, evacuation line cleaners, and the EPA Regulation. A knowledge base we wish to share with our Trusted Distributors and the Dental Industry. To assist Dental Professionals in understanding the “Dental Rule” and ensuring their compliance, we have created this blog to lay out the questions and answers you should know when choosing the right amalgam separator for your practice.
Do NOT Be Pressured
Recently, M.A.R.S has found that some amalgam separator manufacturers and their distributors have been using fear mongering as a tactic to sell amalgam separators. M.A.R.S and our Trusted Distributors prefer to use education as a sales tool, with the hopes of providing Dental Professionals the information they required to make an informed decision about their practice.
Local Control Groups
The need to comply will not come without warning, typically your Local Control Group, such as a Water Treatment Plants, would give several months’ notice of required compliance. The provided time frame will allow you the opportunity to review different amalgam separators to find which will suit the needs of your office.
Outline of Amalgam Separator Standards
The rest of this blog will be assisting in outlining the standards in which an amalgam separator should be reviewed when choosing the right system.
Many Dental Professionals do not know that the EPA Regulation was set as a bare minimum requirement. Your Local Control Group has the legal right to set different standards. These new standards, or Best Management Practices (BMPs), can vary from city to city.
The “Be Proactive” section of this blog will be reviewing recommendations on how to retrieve accurate expectations from your Local Regulators for your Dental Practice.
Who is in Charge?
Each State, Region, County, and City all run differently. What this could mean for you is the standards in which a colleague has to follow in the next town over can potentially be completely different than the BMPs set for you by your Local Regulator. It is essential to determine which governmental or privatize body is responsible for setting your standards.
Make Contact with the EPA
The best places to start when looking for your Local Control Group is to contact the closest EPA representative. In some regions, the EPA will be responsible for regulating the compliance of Dental Practices.
Often, you will find your City’s Water Treatment Plant will have By-Law Officers create and enforce local standards. These standards usually reflect the needs of the Water Treatment Plant. If your local Water Treatment Plant has issues with meeting their own EPA set mercury discharge levels, the Water Treatment Plant will create standards for those polluting the mercury into their waterways. In cases of small rural areas, the mercury discharge can easily be offset by one specific polluter, requiring the polluter to follow stricter standards to ensure the compliance of the small Water Treatment Plant.
Keep Contact with the EPA
In the world of water treatment, there is no such thing as “grandfathering” equipment. Technology changes, which means standards will change as well. If your Local Regulator finds that your amalgam separator is not yielding the required mercury discharge expected by their standards, they have every right to demand you to upgrade to better technology. To protect your investment when purchasing an amalgam separator, ensure the system comes with some form of written guarantee to comply with any current or future standards. With a written guarantee, no matter the change in rules, your compliance will never be in question, saving you and your Practice from having to reinvest in new technology.
Part 2: Being Informed
M.A.R.S hopes Part one of this Blog Series has you at least considering the possibility of becoming proactive on your need for compliance with the Dental Rule. Our next blog will be highlighting the questions and answers you need to ensure you are choosing the right amalgam separator for your practice.