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A Toxics-Free Future

UN urges governments to phase down dental amalgam use

Dhaka: The United Nations Environment Programme and the World Alliance have urged the governments around the world to phase-down the use of dental amalgam.

They emphasized on the implementation of national plans to successfully enforce dental amalgam Phase-Down Measures in line with the Minamata Convention on Mercury, revealed a side event on Thursday of a UN mercury treaty meeting in Jordan, said a press release.

UNEP and World Alliance jointly organized the event styled “Implementing Successful Strategies to Phase Down Amalgam Use” at King Hussein Bin Talal Convention Centre, Dead Sea, Jordan.

Speakers highlighted the World Alliance’s Mercury-Free Dentistry initiatives in Asia, Africa and Latin America.

Charlie Brown, president of the World Alliance, said setting up national objectives for minimizing amalgam use was very important and promoting mercury-free dental restorations, including raising public awareness of amalgam’s mercury content, was an urgent need for protecting the environment and public health.

He said dental school curricula should be updated to promote mercury-free dentistry, modifying insurance and government programs to favor mercury-free dentistry and end amalgam use in children and pregnant women.

Desiree Montecillo Narvaez, programme officer, UNEP Chemicals and Waste Branch, chaired the session. Dr Lillian Ebuen, practicing dentist in the Philippines, Dr Shahriar Hossain, environmental leader and journalist from Bangladesh, Maria Carcamo, environmentalist from Uruguay, Dominique Bally of JVE-Cote d’Ivoire spoke at the event.

Michel Bender of Mercury Policy Project, USA presented the overview of the UNEP Brochure, which contained lessons from countries phasing down dental amalgam use.

UNEP-World Alliance Side event-INC7-2