In July 2017, the Federal Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA’s) new ruletook effect which requires dental offices to reduce the discharge of mercury and other metals from dental offices down the sewer drain to publically owned treatment works (POTWs). One of the newly required best management practices (BMPs) places restrictions on the types of cleaners used to flush dental vacuum lines.
Under the new rule, dental offices nationwide that place and/or remove dental amalgam and that discharge to a POTW are prohibited from using vacuum line cleaners that may lead to the dissolution of mercury when cleaning traps and vacuum lines, such as bleach or cleaners that contain chlorine, iodine, or peroxide. Additionally, the cleaners must not have a pH lower than six or greater than eight.
Ultra 5 Disinfectant and Cleaner from OSHA Review, Inc., is an effective vacuum line cleaner that meets the EPA’s required BMP of not causing the release of mercury in dental vacuum lines.