15 February 2018, Delhi: Recognizing the importance of the issue of Minamata treaty ratification by India,Toxics Link, an environmental research and advocacy organization engaged in disseminating information and helping strengthen campaigns against toxic pollution, has started a campaign- “Mercury Free Dentistry” in India and has been working with different stakeholders in the field of dentistry which includes the Dental Council of India, Indian Dental Association members, Dental colleges, manufacturers and dealers of dental amalgam across the country, Ministry of Health etc.
Globally, about 260 to 340 tonne of Hg – are released, annually, into the environment from the use of dental amalgam.In dentistry, mercury is used as a part of restorative filling material called Dental Amalgam and account for nearly 50% of the filling. It is a well known source of continuous mercury exposure for the general population. While doing an amalgam filling, not all the mercury goes into the filling, a part of it is released to the environment as well.Once in the environment, it doesn’t remain limited to its source but travels, at times even thousands of kilometres away from the source. So there is a pressing need to curb the menace of mercury at the earliest.
In order to do so, a national stakeholder meeting was conducted to bring all the stakeholders together and take the campaign forward. The core agenda of the meeting was how to safe guard the vulnerable population from ill effects of mercury and phase down usage of dental amalgam in the country as mercury and its compounds have serious effects on human and animal health. The element is highly toxic and can harm the brain, kidneys, lungs, while also posing direct risks to unborn and premature children by causing the underdevelopment of their nervous systems.
This meeting also marked the launch of an awareness campaign as well with the launch of posters for spreading awareness about mercury toxicity and safeguarding the vulnerable population. This was done in collaboration of Clove Dental Clinic chains.
About Toxics Link (www.toxicslink.org)
Toxics Link is an environmental research and advocacy organization set up in 1996 by The Just Environment Charitable Trust. It lays a special emphasis on reaching out to numerous grassroots groups; community based organizations and the public at large through its empirical study-based information on Environmental issues. Toxics Link works closely with all other stakeholders who are working on similar issues and has played a seminal role in facilitating the development of several common platforms for them at the national, regional as well as international levels.