This blog will be very pointed. As a consultant and scientist, I rely on accurate data to make my recommendations. I’ve been in the business for over 40 years. I recently received the International Activated Carbon Hall of Fame award for my contribution solving mercury issues in both water and air. I have been researching the resolution to mercury discharge from dental office since 2010. This blog is the first in a series that will provide the dental industry real solutions that are effective. I will also provide cost analysis to each of these solutions. All the information I provide is totally self-funded. I have never received a dime from any company, vendor or manufacturer for the research and solutions I will provide.
As we approach the year 2020 and beyond, the Dental Rule 40CFR part 441 will become more important. The dental industry must recognize that they must control their mercury waste. This will come in the form of handling solid amalgam and dissolved mercury. The USEPA regulation has provided a starting point on solid discharge but more needs to be done to address dissolved mercury.
Dissolved mercury is very difficult for the wastewater treatment plant (POTW) to remove efficiently. Because of this problem, cities have resorted to identifying sources of mercury entering the sewer system. These sources are controlled by either elimination of mercury and mercury compounds or by pretreatment. The dental industry is now in the category targeted as a source. The industry will have to choose to eliminate or pretreat to control the mercury discharged by the amalgam.
Elimination of amalgam use is a starting point. However, if an amalgam must be removed, the dental office is still a point source for the POTW that must be regulated. To say, “I don’t place amalgams.” does not exempt the office from pretreatment. Current pretreatment is in the form of an amalgam separator.
The amalgam separator is good at removing solid amalgam from the office, but most of the units fail at controlling dissolved mercury. I have analyzed discharges from every amalgam separator on the market. I have published this data often. If anyone has a question regarding a separator and its effectiveness, I have the data. Some separators have only been tested one or two times because they are not commonly found. Others have 10 or more data points from a variety of offices.
Only one separator on the market can effectively remove both the solid and dissolved mercury. The MARS LibertyBOSS is the only unit that has the advanced technology needed to provide the greatest reduction of total mercury the technology must change. This separator is the Best Available Technology (BET) has been on the market since 2005.
Why is it the best? Because the data I have accumulated over the past 6 years has repeatedly demonstrated that the mercury discharge levels from the LibertyBOSS unit are always the lowest. The activated carbon used to treat the dissolved mercury isn’t 60 grams, but 1000 grams. The quantity used provides 1 or more years of total mercury removal. This is the only solution available Nation Wide.