Working with the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and the World Alliance for Mercury-Free Dentistry, Consumers for Dental Choice urged governments around the world to phase down – and ultimately phase out – dental amalgam use at a side event during the seventh meeting of te intergovernmental negotiating committee for the Minamata Convention on Mercury (INC7) in Dead Sea, Jordan.
UNEP and the World Alliance jointly organized the side event, entitled “Implementing Successful Strategies to Phase Down Amalgam Use,” to highlight effective steps governments can take to move toward mercury-free dentistry. Speakers highlighted World Alliances Mercury-Free Dentistry initiatives in Asia, Africa and Latin America.
Charlie Brown, President of the World Alliance and executive director of Consumers for Dental Choice, says setting national objectives for minimizing amalgam use is an important first step. But he adds that “promoting mercury-free dental restorations, including raising public awareness of amalgam’s mercury content, is urgently needed to protect environment and public health.” Speakers also urged governments to update dental school curricula to promote mercury-free dentistry, modify insurance and government programs to favor mercury-free dental fillings, 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 of Bangladesh, Maria Carcamo, environmentalist of Uruguay, Dominique Bally of JVE-Cote d’Ivoire, environmentalist were the speakers of the event. Michael Bender of Mercury Policy Project, USA, presented an overview of a new UNEP brochure, which contains lessons from countries that have succeeded in phasing out or significantly phasing down their dental amalgam use.