Guidelines for minimizing the emission of dental amalgam

The project has developed recommendations for routines aimed at minimizing the release of mercury from dental care centers in Sweden. Hopefully the guidelines will inspire and be a support in other countries work on developing recommendations.


Requirements for dental amalgam separators 

Number of dental amalgam separators

Installation of dental amalgam separator

Installation of suction system

Buffer tank

Suction tubes

Sink traps (amalgam separators connected to sinks)


Patient treatment routines

Labelling of pipes

Water sampling

Cleaning and emptying of water locks and floor drains

Pipework, new builds and refurbishment

Upkeep of amalgam separator at dental practices

Internal monitoring

Handling of amalgam waste

Environmental maintenance service


Incident management (deviations and improvement proposal



The guidelines will be updated continuously if needed and will be available on the project´s web page and on the web based training tool.

Please e-mail comments to

Dialogue meeting

The guidelines have been discussed at several dialogue meetings with dental teams, dental technicians and inspectors at local authorities. The meetings have resulted in many fruitful comments which have been documented. The guidelines have been updated with respect to these
comments. The guidelines have been discussed at the following meetings:

  • Environmental responsibles in Swedish Dental Service organizations, November 2017
  • Swedental, the largest dental conference in the Nordic countries, November 2017. A digital questionnaire was used in order to get comments on the draft of national guidelines “Recommendations for improved routines at dental facilities in Sweden”
  • Environmental Maintenance ServiceTechnicians at Sweden Recycling, December 2017
  • Dental teams in Praktikertjänst
  • Dental Hygiene Association, February 2018
  • Municipalities , March 2018
  • Service technicians, May 2018


In May 2018 the project participated having a lecture at a conference arranged by The association for private dental care providers in Sweden.

Quotes from dentists:

"I receive feedback on what may need to be rectified and perhaps the decontamination of my pipes."

"I was really pleased when I was told about the project. During decontamination, more than 0.5 kilograms of elemental mercury were collected. It's comforting to know that this was taken care of in
a good way"

"The whole process was super easy and professional. The decontamination only took up a few hours of the day. When it was finished we could take care of our patients immediately. No supplementary work was needed"

Quotes from inspectors:

"It was very interesting and rewarding day!"

"Thank you for a fruitful meeting!"


Webbaserat verktyg

Ett öppet och kostnadsfritt utbildningsmaterial om hur tandvården kan minimera utsläppen av kvicksilver från dentalt amalgam. Här finns korta filmer, interaktiva artiklar och dokument. Webbverktyget finns på flera språk: svenska, engelska, tyska, franska och spanska.

Läs mer