UPDATE: The EPA’s final rule (July 14, 2017) “requires dental offices to use amalgam separators and best management practices recommended by the American Dental Association (ADA).”
UPDATE: The 2016 EPA Dental Effluent Guidelines were pulled from The Office of The Federal Register; and, though signed, will not be published at this time. Therefore, this rule WILL NOT go into effect. However, many states have state level laws requiring the installation of amalgam separators in their state’s Dental Offices. These state level laws will be unaffected by the withdraw of the EPA rule and remain in full force and effect. If there are any further changes related to this rule, we will be sure to update this blog accordingly.
In September 2014, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) proposed a new rule regarding dental amalgam. This regulation would require all existing and new dental practices to use amalgam separators to prevent amalgam from discharging into publicly owned treatment works (POTWs).
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Every year throughout the United States, 8 million people use more than 3 billion sharps to manage medical conditions at home. Needle disposal in public places is a growing concern. With more and more Americans self-injecting, many employers are choosing to follow the guidance included in OSHA’s Bloodborne Pathogens Standard to help reduce the potential of employee and customer needlesticks. If self-injectors do not have convenient access to proper sharps disposal, the needle typically ends up in the trash or discarded in a parking lot or other public area.
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Two-thirds of Americans don’t know what to do with unused prescription drugs according to a nationwide survey of 1,000 adults conducted for Sharps Compliance. The findings showed that 2 out of 3 people either toss their medications into the garbage or flush them down the toilet, potentially threatening the safety of others and the environment
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Does your facility reprocess single-use medical devices (SUDs)? Did you know that reprocessing SUDs can carry risks and disadvantages?
Healthcare facilities are becoming more concerned about reprocessing SUDs (devices intended for one use or use on a single patient during a single procedure). Studies have found a significant rate of physical defects, performance issues, or improper decontamination associated with reprocessing of SUDs. According to the American Congress of Obstetrics and Gynecology, “The use of a reprocessed single-use device provides no direct benefit to an individual patient or her physician.”1
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Prescription drug abuse is a growing epidemic in the United States. Opioids, depressants and stimulants are the most abused medications. According to the Los Angeles Times, the leading cause of death from unintentional injuries in the U.S. is drug-related poisonings, which has surpassed automobile accidents. Between 1999 and 2006, deaths from drug poisoning have almost doubled. The first step towards preventing drug abuse is proper medication disposal.
Continue reading “Preventing Prescription Drug Abuse at Home”