Jun 11, 2008

Press Conference will Discuss Importance of Removing Amalgam from Dental Wastewater

Dental Recycling North America's amalgam separator was recently certified as ISO-compliant

Dental Recycling North America (DRNA) will be holding a press conference this month to announce its recent certification to the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) Standard 11143 for Dental Equipment - Amalgam Separators. NSF Intl., an independent, third-party certification organization, recently verified that DRNA’s amalgam separator, BU10, is ISO-compliant. The press conference will discuss the importance of these certified devices in removing amalgam, a main source of mercury, from dental wastewater.

The press conference will be held at 1225 I Street NW, Ste. 600 in Washington, D.C., Wednesday, June 18 at 11:30 EST. Featured speakers include Carol Browner, former Environmental Protection Agency administrator from 1993-2001; Tom Downey, former U.S. Congressman; as well as Thomas L. Siebert, former U.S. Ambassador to Sweden. Representatives from NSF Intl. and DRNA will also be present to answer any questions.

Dental offices throughout the U.S. create a wide variety of waste, in both solid and liquid form. Mercury contained in dental amalgam is one of the last sources of mercury to be addressed by regulatory agencies and has received increasing scrutiny from regulators in their efforts to reduce the discharge of mercury and mercury-containing materials into the environment.

Dental amalgam is a conglomeration of metals (silver, tin, mercury, etc.) used to fill cavities because of its durability. Over the years, environmental concerns have been raised about the use of dental amalgam because of its mercury content. Amalgam separators, according to the American Dental Association, are devices that help reduce the amalgam content in dental office wastewater discharge. Wastewater is generated from chair side sinks, which are connected to a vacuum system to collect the wastewater. Amalgam separators are designed to remove waste amalgam from the water collected by the vacuum system before being discharged to municipal sewer systems.

ISO 11143:1999(E) specifies performance requirements and test methods for amalgam separators used with dental equipment in the dental treatment center, requiring the separator remove at least 95% of amalgam from the dental wastewater. The ISO standard also outlines requirements for the safe functioning of the amalgam separator, marking, instructions for use, operation and maintenance. DRNA’s amalgam separator, model BU10, has been subjected to rigorous testing and has met all of ISO 11143 requirements.