Amalgam Separator User Manual Breakdown: Crosstex Syclone – Part 3 Maintenance, Disposal, and Notes

Amalgam Separator User Manual Breakdown: Crosstex Syclone – Part 3 Maintenance, Disposal, and Notes

We will be continuing part three of the Crosstex Syclone amalgam separators. Part 1 of this blog highlighted the recommendations for the installation of the many different private labels of the Crosstex Syclone amalgam separators on the market. Part 2 explained the required WEEKLY inspection and troubleshooting suggestions from Crosstex on their brand of amalgam separators.

The required service, maintenance, and inspections of amalgam separators can be confusing for some, to further complicate the matter, many amalgam separators have a lengthy and continuously changing user manuals. M.A.R.S has created this blog series to help Dental Professional make educated decisions on what amalgam separator to choose for their practice, as well as assist those practices with an amalgam separator to service them properly.

Our first segment started with the amalgam separator that requires the least amount of work, maintenance or inspection, the M.A.R.S LibertyBOSS.

no maintenance

Today, we will be covering the maintenance of the Crosstex Syclone units, the disposal of their filters and any additional notes missed by our previous blogs.

Maintenance of the Crosstex Syclone

Every amalgam separator manufacturer includes ISO Testing related information such as;

– maximum fillable volume (1,500 mL)
– maximum flow rate (15” Hg)
– Amalgam Separator Type (type 2 – sedimentation)
– Maintenance and Inspection Requirements (Weekly inspections, Maintenance – every 12 months or when full, whichever comes first).

(The bolded items above is the information pertaining to the Crosstex Syclone amalgam separators.)

Cleaning Maintenance

As it can be seen from the photo of the maintenance section of the Crosstex Syclone user manual, their brand of amalgam separator, like most amalgam separators, calls for the DAILY use of a neutral pH, non-foaming evacuation line cleaner. A process that should already be done in every office, as it is required by the Center for Disease Control – Oral Health Division.

The Crosstex Syclone is the only version of all their private labeled product that allows “low-foaming” evacuation line cleaners. An odd choice, as even the amalgam separator that the Crosstex’s unit was designed after, the SolmeteX, requires non-foaming evacuation line cleaners. Foaming, even low-foaming, line cleaners can affect the efficiency in which an amalgam separator functions. More importantly, most amalgam separator manufacturers don’t recommend foaming cleaners because it can damage and void the warranty of most vacuum pumps. It is suspected that Crosstex allows a foaming cleaner because they attempt to push their brand of evacuation line cleaner.

As you can see below in the photo from the Evacuation Line Cleaner section of the Crosstex manual, they have a disclaimer about the pH level of line cleaners. Some of their information is incorrect and can leave many dental practices non-compliant if this disclaimer is followed. Please see the Notes section below regarding the pH level of evacuation line cleaners.


Collection Container

As most amalgam separators are sedimentation based, dense material like prophy paste, varnish, oxides, and pumice will often fill the amalgam separator quickly. Filter based amalgam separators, due to their smaller capacity, will usually not make it to their maximum service life of one year. The average filter use is roughly every six months. According to Medentex, a private label of the Crosstex unit, their filters can last UP TO 12 months for 1-4 chairs and UP TO 6 months for 5-10 chairs. Please remember, the busier the office; the faster these filters tend to fill.

Exposure to Methylmercury

Some Dental Professionals may not agree with the dangers of mercury exposure, but ask any expert in mercury about methylmercury, they will express to you the dangers of being exposed to this toxin. With filter based amalgam separators, when you change their filters, you are exposing yourself and office to methylmercury. The danger of exposure is why each of these manuals has requirements of Personal Protection Equipment. M.A.R.S recommends to all M.A.R.S Certified Amalgam Separator Specialists to wear a respirator rated for mercury gases when handling these type of amalgam separators.

These measures should also be taken when dealing with a spill or leaking system.

Leaking filter (1)

Any material cleaned up from a spill or leak is required to be handled and disposed of correctly as toxic waste.


For most amalgam separators, shipping and disposal are included in the initial cost of the system. If you are buying a filter without recycling, please note that in the United States, any toxic waste produced in a Dental Practice is required to be recycled within 12 months. So in the case of amalgam separators, once the filter is full and has been removed from service, the filter is required to be recycled within a year. Some areas, like Ontario, Canada, the Ministry of Environment requires written notice of toxic storage for any waste that is stored in a practice for more than 90 days. It is essential to know and understand the rules of your local regulating bodies before purchasing an amalgam separator for your office.

Not following the disposal instructions, or choosing the wrong filter package can result in your office being non-compliant due to the toxic waste being stored in your office.


Crosstex Syclone Pre-Paid Disposal

Below we will be reviewing the procedure of disposal provided by Crosstex for their Syclone filters that have pre-paid recycling. The instructions are pretty self-explanatory and very easy to follow. These instructions are also similar to the rest of their private labels. There is one issue M.A.R.S has with the Crosstex Syclone instructions, and that is the recommendation of using bleach to decontaminate the used container in step 2 c.

Bleach is never recommended to be mixed with amalgam in a container, as bleach will dissolve the mercury into a soluble form and generate mercury vapors, making it even more dangerous for the recyclers. It is a safe assumption to assume that the recycling of all the Crosstex Syclone amalgam separators is being done through Medentex. The Medentex instructions do not recommend the “decontamination” as they know the dangers of mixing bleach with mercury waste. IT IS HIGHLY RECOMMENDED TO IGNORE THIS INSTRUCTION OR FIND A NON-OXIDIZING PRODUCT TO REPLACE THE BLEACH.

Crosstex Syclone

Canadian Dental Practices

Crosstex does not have a system like what they have in the USA for their Canadian customers. The recycling of the full filters is often dependant on which Province you are practicing in and which Service Company you use to maintain your amalgam separator. Evident in the photo above, many “Pre-Paid” filters go without recycling, leaving many Dental Practices non-compliant as the recyclers are not following through with the services they have already been paid to do. For those Canadian Practices with pre-paid filters in their practice, it is suggested to contact the recycler and aggressively require a pick-up of the filter you paid to be recycled, or get a refund (roughly $150). If you get the refund, you will then have to find a recycler who will take the filters for recycling.

Venus Recycling is one company that does accept the systems for proper disposal. They can be reached at 1-905-723-2227.


Line Cleaner

Despite the update of the Crosstex user manuals, some of their private labels are still listing evacuation line cleaners with the pH of 6-10 acceptable. It appears that Crosstex has not fully updated their knowledge on the new EPA Regulation. It has been found by mercury experts that mercury will dissolve into a soluble form faster when submerged in a non-neutral pH liquid.

pH levels (1)

If a Dental Practice uses an evacuation line cleaner outside the pH range of 6-8, they can be found non-compliant by your local regulators, regardless of the old 5.5-10 pH that water treatment plants use to find acceptable.

According to Crosstex, if an evacuation line cleaner outside the range of 6-8 pH is used with their system, it will void any warranties and guarantees.

void ph

Maximum Practice Service Size

When purchasing an amalgam separator for your practice, ensure the unit you are being sold is appropriately sized for your size practice. It is not safe to assume your service company knows the suitably sized system to install in your practice to keep you compliant. It is recommended to confirm the amalgam separator isn’t undersized for your office. Recently, M.A.R.S had to educate the Service Manager of one of the largest Service Companies in Canada on the maintenance, and maximum service size of a SolmeteX Hg5 system. Dental Service Companies have many product lines that they are required to be experts on, unfortunately, if adequate and repetitive training isn’t provided on any of those products, the accurate service supplied with that product can suffer. It is common for service companies to have limited knowledge of an amalgam separator, resulting in non-compliance.

Luckily it is rather easy to size a Practice to the Crosstex system, as they only have one size;

The general rule, for every 10 TOTAL chairs in a practice, a Crosstex Syclone is required. If the office has more than 10 chairs, they should install two Crosstex Syclone systems in a parallel to split the flow of the office.

Next Amalgam Separator

Thank you for following the three-part series on the Crosstex Syclone User Manuals. Our next amalgam separator is a European made amalgam separator, the Eco II. It is a reasonably well know amalgam separator, especially with the California Dental Association special that is currently being offered. The company PureWay, based in Texas, is the master distributor for the product in the United States.

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