SF Environment and San Francisco Public Utilities Commission (SFPUC) in conjunction with the San Francisco Dental Society launched the Dental Mercury Reduction Program to regulate mercury pollution caused by dental practices and to provide information on safer alternatives to chemicals commonly used in dental offices. Some of the achievements from this program are as follows:
- In April 2005, SF Environment hosted a Dental Office Pollution Prevention Symposium to present successful program strategies and outreach material to jurisdictions starting up their own dental mercury pollution prevention programs. The material handed out at this Symposium can be found below.
- As of June 30, 2011 600 of 601 offices are in compliance, which represents 99.8% of all offices in San Francisco. 339 of the 520 dentists who chose the permit option to install an amalgam separator (65.2%) have been certified as having installed the equipment.
- In October 2003, SF Environment hosted an Amalgam Separator Vendor Expo, in collaboration with SFPUC and the San Francisco Dental Society. The expo was envisioned as a friendly way to assist San Francisco dentists in making informed decisions when purchasing amalgam separators for their offices.
- Installing and maintaining an amalgam separator creates an additional financial burden for dental offices since costs of approved separators generally range from $250 to $1800, not including installation. As a result, we previously offered $30,000 in financial assistance to dental offices through two rebates programs: 1) rebates for the first 100 offices to install amalgam separators and 2) rebates for dental offices that serve low-income, minority and other types of underserved populations.
- SF Environment and SFPUC jointly hosted a series of informational workshops for dentists and their staff. The workshops taught attendees how to comply with the new wastewater permit regulations, how to choose and maintain amalgam separators, and what supportive services the City could offer dental offices that wish to be more environmentally responsible. In addition, attendees were given the opportunity to ask questions and voice their concerns about the new permit regulations and upcoming inspections.
Dental Amalgam Reduction Program (see flyer):
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