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A Toxics-Free Future


Dhaka Declaration: Call to stop mercury use in dentistry

The Kathmandu Post

Civil society representatives from Nepal, India, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Pakistan and Thailand have agreed to a declaration that calls to end the use of mercury in amalgam fillings in dental care in Asia.

More than 137 civil society organisations, individuals and professionals from these countries have agreed to stop the use of mercury, which is known to be a potent poison of the human nervous system and therefore poses risks to human health and environment. “The continuous use of mercury-filled dental amalgam in medical field is not justified when alternatives are now affordable, effective and available in the region,” said a press statement issued by Center for Public Health and Environmental Development on Tuesday.

The organisations also urged the Asian countries to work together and make Asia the first continent with mercury-free dentistry—considering that it is more densely populated than any other continent and the health and environmental costs will therefore be more significant.

“We are calling on Asia to end the use of mercury-based dentistry. Asia is the most densely populated continent on the planet and therefore risks incredible harm to human health and environment,” the statement further reads.

Mercury-free dentistry is growing in Asia. Recent studies in India and Pakistan show that, already, over 50 percent of dentists are using alternatives to dental amalgam in India, while in Pakistan 42.86 percent of dental professionals strongly recommend to phase down the use of mercury/dental mercury amalgam.