Written by Environment News Service Tuesday, 28 September 2010 14:30
WASHINGTON—The US EPA is preparing to regulate dental offices to prevent discharge of mercury from old fillings into the environment.
The agency announced on Sept. 27 that it will propose a rule to reduce mercury waste from dental offices in 2011. The rule, expected to be finalized in 2012, will require dentists to use mercury-separating technology by 2014.
The rulemaking is a reversal of Bush-era EPA policy, which allowed dentists to take a voluntary approach to installing devices that separate out the mercury from old fillings, recycle and reuse it.
Dental fillings containing mercury account for 3.7 tons of mercury discharged each year from dental offices across the United States, the EPA said today.