ADA seeks exemption to proposed EPA amalgam rules

The ADA is asking the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to exempt dental offices from the latest proposed hazardous waste pharmaceuticals rules. This proposal includes dental amalgam disposal.

New rules were proposed by the EPA in September 2015. These rules are "intended to protect water systems from hazardous waste pharmaceuticals," according to a January 25 ADA News story.

The ADA asserted that, as dental offices generate little hazardous waste, dental amalgam should be exempted from the definition of pharmaceuticals. The association claims that the proposed rule could be "misconstrued by sewer authorities and EPA regional offices" as applying to the disposal of dental amalgam into sewer systems.

"In the ADA's view, the Proposed Management Standards For Hazardous Waste Pharmaceuticals rule fails to take into account the specific factual circumstances facing (and resource limitations applicable to) the dental community. As a result, the costs exceed the benefit and EPA seeks to impose requirements that exceed EPA's legal authority," the ADA wrote to the EPA.

The ADA stated that it wants to work with the EPA to develop voluntary options or guidance for dentists regarding the disposal of pharmaceutical waste.

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