Tanzania leapfrogging to mercury-free dentistry

We are working from home during the pandemic, but the Consumers for Dental Choice team is still producing victories for mercury-free dentistry.

Now one of the largest African nations in both size and population, Tanzania, has adopted guidelines that will end amalgam use for children and for women of childbearing age.

These guidelines go even further than the European Union’s ban on amalgam use in children under 15, pregnant women, and breastfeeding mothers because they extend protection to all children and all young women. As explained in the guidelines,

"Although the levels of mercury that go into blood circulation of dental patients treated with dental amalgam is considered low, considering the fact that mercury has tendency to bio-accumulate, these low level should not be considered safe. There is no point of taking risk, given the well documented adverse outcomes of the mercury intoxication and the fact that no level of mercury is safe in human body."

Success in Tanzania was led by three key forces: a farsighted Chief Dental Office that several years ago reached out to me; our two outstanding nonprofit group partners; and the nation’s dental association, which (unlike the stuck-in the-19th-century American Dental Association) welcomes the transition to 21st century dentistry. We were honored to work with these talented and energetic men and women – both remotely and in-person over the course of executive director Charlie Brown’s three trips to Tanzania.

We thank the many of you who donate to Consumers for Dental Choice’s work – and offer a toast to you for your role in this victory!

Like all our international progress, we are bringing it to bear at home: we have announced the Tanzania victory to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Now comes FDA’s chance to catch up with Tanzania.

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