Mercury Minimization

  • Dental office requirements

    The City is implementing a Mercury Minimization Plan, which includes requirements for dental practices to control the discharge of amalgam and other metals into the wastewater system. Amalgam is a mixture of metals, consisting of liquid (elemental) mercury and a powdered alloy composed of silver, tin, and copper which is used to fill cavities in teeth. Mercury and other metals can have a wide range of harmful effects on human and aquatic life once released into the aquatic environment. The City’s wastewater treatment plant is not designed to remove toxic metal pollutants in waste streams prior to release into the Columbia River.

     Annual certification statements are due by January 31:   Annual Certification of Compliance statement

    The Dental Program requires all dental practices to:

    • Operate and maintain amalgam separators according to manufacture recommendations, and not discharge scrap amalgam into the wastewater system or use certain kinds of line cleaners.
    • Control the discharge of amalgam and other metals into the wastewater system.
    • Maintain records for three years of the handling and disposal of amalgam, maintenance and service of amalgam separators, and also keep records of x-ray fixer recycling.
    • Follow the Oregon Dental Association’s Best Management Practices of Dental Waste.
    • Each year by January 31, complete and sign a Certification of Compliance Statement with the City of Gresham.