EPA promulgated pretreatment standards in 2017 to reduce discharges of mercury from dental offices into publicly owned treatment works (POTWs). The Dental Office Category regulation is codified at 40 CFR Part 441.
Dental offices discharge mercury present in amalgam used for fillings. Amalgam separators are a practical, affordable and readily available technology for capturing mercury and other metals before they are discharged into sewers that drain to POTWs. Once captured by a separator, mercury can be recycled.
EPA expects compliance with this final rule will annually reduce the discharge of mercury by 5.1 tons as well as 5.3 tons of other metals found in waste dental amalgam to POTWs.