The City of Los Angeles, in cooperation with the California Dental Association (CDA), identified ways to reduce or eliminate dental amalgam (may or may not contain mercury) and other dental wastes (silver from photographic X-ray processing and lead from foil shields) contained in industrial wastewater through implementation of Best Management Practices (BMPs). The City regulates industrial wastewater discharges from dental offices and clinics into the City's sewer system. We established Dental Operations BMPs as part of the Industrial Wastewater Permit requirements.
The City's Industrial Waste Control Ordinance requires the following from dental offices:
The City has worked closely with the CDA to develop outreach and educational materials such as the Dental Offices Best Management Practices brochure entitled "Clean Water, Making It Happen" and the video "Amalgam Management: Environmentally Responsible Dentistry" to increase awareness among dental offices and clinics of the potential adverse environmental impacts of dental wastes in wastewater.