Update on Dental Amalgam Waste Requirements

June 17, 2010

Environment Canada published a Final Notice in the Canada Gazette on May 8, 2010, that will require some Canadian dental offices to prepare and implement a pollution prevention (P2) plan regarding mercury releases from dental amalgam waste.

Dentists who have already adopted best management practices for amalgam waste are not affected by this Final Notice. These best management practices include the installation of an ISO 11143 certified amalgam separator in a dental practice and the use of a certified hazardous waste carrier for the recycling or disposal of amalgam waste.

Dental facilities that exclusively practice the specialties of oral and maxillofacial radiology, oral and maxillofacial surgery, oral medicine and pathology, orthodontics and dentofacial orthopedics, and periodontics are exempt from the new requirements.

This Final Notice applies to dentists who have not voluntarily implemented best management practices for dental amalgam waste. According to the new federal requirements, these dentists must prepare a P2 plan no later than 3 months after the publication of the Final Notice and implement the P2 plan no later than 6 months after the publication date.

For more information on the Final Notice or P2 plan requirements, please contact: Environment Canada, Waste Reduction and Management Division, email: mercury@ec.gc.ca, tel.: (819) 934-6059.

Dentists can also consult the ‘Dental Amalgam Waste Protocol’ section on CDA’s website, which includes a Fact Sheet on P2 plans.

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