Amalgam Retention Units & Recycling
Amalgam, most commonly used in Dentistry as a tooth filling, is the alloy of approximately 50% mercury with a mix of other metals such as silver, zinc, copper and tin. Although the use of amalgam in fillings has proven to be safe health wise, the exposure of this mercury alloy to the greater environment has a significantly harmful effect, where one gram of amalgam can contaminate up to 1,000,000,000 (one billion) litres of water to a concentration above that of the acceptable level.
The World Health Organisation has listed mercury as the number one environmental poison. With studies showing that the average dentist releases one gram of amalgam into wastewater each day, the solution for this environmental protection has been outlined in ISO 11143.
A policy of best practices to minimize and correctly dispose of amalgam waste is now being adopted. This policy outlines the collection and recycling of as much amalgam waste as possible for all dental clinics.
In addition to these best practices, the installation of a retention device to the suction prevents 99.5% of these undesired metals entering the water system.
Amalgam retention systems will become mandatory for all dental practices in 2010, but be rest assured that once installed; retention devices do not create extra work for dental staff.
In fact, once retention devices are fitted, staff are not required to
- Empty, or even
- Handle the unit.
Your amalgam recycler will visit your practice regularly to empty and maintain the unit and recycle the amalgam for you.
Contact Dentequip to enquire about fitting an amalgam retention device to existing equipment, or setting up equipment to retain amalgam.