NM may require amalgam separators

2011 01 03 12 41 22 475 Oral Cancer Highlight

New Mexico lawmakers will consider a bill in the 2011 legislative session that would require all dental offices to install amalgam separators and to remove dental amalgam prior to discharge of their wastewater.

SB 12, the Dental Amalgam Waste Reduction Act, was introduced December 15 by Sen. Peter Wirth (D-Santa Fe). The proposed bill reads, in part:

By December 31, 2012, a dental office shall install an appropriately sized amalgam separator system and, upon inspection for cause, shall demonstrate to the New Mexico board of dental health care proper installation, operation, maintenance and amalgam waste recycling or disposal in accordance with an amalgam separator manufacturer's recommendations. The New Mexico board of dental health care shall consider noncompliance with the Dental Amalgam Waste Reduction Act as unprofessional conduct subject to the penalties and discipline of the board pursuant to the Uniform Licensing Act and the Dental Health Care Act.

Amalgam separators would not be required for offices that are not engaged in amalgam placement, removal, or modification or for offices of orthodontists, periodontists, oral and maxillofacial surgeons, oral and maxillofacial radiologists, or oral pathologists. Portable dental offices without a fixed connection for wastewater discharge would also be exempt.

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