Special information for dentists and dental offices

Amalgam materials used in the past for filling dental cavities often contained mercury.  Although mercury is no longer used by dentists, dental offices are required to have special equipment including amalgam separators that trap mercury and allow it to be properly handled. 
New dental offices are required to submit a report to City Utilities to let us know that you are meeting the requirements of the federal rules.  Also, dental offices that are bought or sold must submit a report at the time of sale.  In 2020, all dental offices will be required to submit a report.
Dental Amalgam Rule Compliance Report -- this form may be downloaded, filled in, then printed and mailed to the Water Pollution Control Plant

What are the sources of mercury?

  • Thermometers with silver colored liquid inside
  • Thermostats (non-electric)
  • Clothes irons with an automatic shut-off function 
  • Fluorescent light bulbs and mercury vapor lamps
  • Some latex paint manufactured before 1990 ( mercury was used to inhibit the growth of mold)
  • Batteries (Mercuric oxide and some alkaline batteries)
  • Gauges such as barometers and older blood pressure meters
  • Electrical switches on appliances such as space heaters, freezers, and sump pumps
  • Laboratory chemicals
  • Antibacterial products containing thimerosal or merbromin
  • Scientific apparatus

How can I prevent mercury pollution? 

  • Learn about common products that contain mercury
  • Make a list of the products in your home that contain mercury using the Household Mercury Source Identification checklist
  • Avoid buying products that contain mercury except for fluorescent light bulbs. Fluorescent bulbs use less electricity than incandescent bulbs.
  • Keep mercury-containing items out of the trash (including fluorescent light bulbs). Use appropriate disposal methods or recycle mercury-containing products.
  • Make an effort to reduce reliance on coal burning by conserving electricity whenever possible.
  • Never break open items that may contain mercury
  • Never burn mercury

More information