With patients increasingly aware of amalgam’s mercury content, dentists opting for less invasive procedures and safer workplaces, and the Minamata Convention on Mercury requiring each nation to reduce its amalgam use, dental amalgam is entering its twilight years.
Most dental offices in the United States are now required by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to install and use amalgam separators to dispose of mercury. To help dental practices transition to this technology by the July 14, 2020 deadline, the EPA is now offering online resources including background information, FAQs, requirements, and documents.
It’s an age-old question: Should you spend the time and energy doing a job yourself or hire someone to complete it for you? Maybe it’s something you’ve contemplated when debating to paint the house or shovel the driveway.
Dealing with a new dental regulation may seem as appealing as getting a root canal, but the latest ruling is a smart step forward for both the dental community and the environment. Effective July 14, the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is cracking down to reduce the amount of metals—including mercury—that end up in municipal sewage treatment plants (aka publicly owned treatment works, or POTWs).
The European Parliament has adopted legislation that will restrict the use of mercury, further closing the gap between existing European Union legislation and the 2012 United Nations Minamata Convention against mercury pollution. The legislation will phase out the use of mercury in dental amalgam by 2030.