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Global Go To Think Tank Index (GGTTI) 2020 launched                    111,75 Think Tanks across the world ranked in different categories.                SDPI is ranked 90th among “Top Think Tanks Worldwide (non-US)”.           SDPI stands 11th among Top Think Tanks in South & South East Asia & the Pacific (excluding India).            SDPI notches 33rd position in “Best New Idea or Paradigm Developed by A Think Tank” category.                SDPI remains 42nd in “Best Quality Assurance and Integrity Policies and Procedure” category.              SDPI stands 49th in “Think Tank to Watch in 2020”.            SDPI gets 52nd position among “Best Independent Think Tanks”.                           SDPI becomes 63rd in “Best Advocacy Campaign” category.                   SDPI secures 60th position in “Best Institutional Collaboration Involving Two or More Think Tanks” category.                       SDPI obtains 64th position in “Best Use of Media (Print & Electronic)” category.               SDPI gains 66th position in “Top Environment Policy Tink Tanks” category.                SDPI achieves 76th position in “Think Tanks With Best External Relations/Public Engagement Program” category.                    SDPI notches 99th position in “Top Social Policy Think Tanks”.            SDPI wins 140th position among “Top Domestic Economic Policy Think Tanks”.               SDPI is placed among special non-ranked category of Think Tanks – “Best Policy and Institutional Response to COVID-19”.                                            Owing to COVID-19 outbreak, SDPI staff is working from home from 9am to 5pm five days a week. All our staff members are available on phone, email and/or any other digital/electronic modes of communication during our usual official hours. You can also find all our work related to COVID-19 in orange entries in our publications section below.    The Sustainable Development Policy Institute (SDPI) is pleased to announce its Twenty-third Sustainable Development Conference (SDC) from 14 – 17 December 2020 in Islamabad, Pakistan. The overarching theme of this year’s Conference is Sustainable Development in the Times of COVID-19. Read more…       FOOD SECIRITY DASHBOARD: On 4th Nov, SDPI has shared the first prototype of Food Security Dashboard with Dr Moeed Yousaf, the Special Assistant to Prime Minister on  National Security and Economic Outreach in the presence of stakeholders, including Ministry of National Food Security and Research. Provincial and district authorities attended the event in person or through zoom. The dashboard will help the government monitor and regulate the supply chain of essential food commodities.

DENTAL HOSPITALS IN PAKISTAN POLLUTED WITH MERCURY

The results of nationwide tests in Pakistan have raised the alarm over the high levels of mercury pollution in dental hospitals. In some of the tested sites in the twin cities of Islamabad and Rawalpindi, the amount of the toxic metal detected in the air was found to be up to 20 times higher than acceptable levels.

According to the monitoring team from the Sustainable Development Policy Institute, an independent development and policy analysis organisation in Islamabad, dental personal working in the affected facilities were recently informed about the results and given recommendations about safety measures. They were also advised on how to reduce the use of mercury in general.

Despite the availability of alternative filling materials such as composite resins, amalgam remains the most widely used dental restorative in Pakistan. Waste management of the material, however, has traditionally been poor. According to the results of a study conducted in 2007 by researchers from the Riphah International University’s dentistry college, over 90 per cent of dentists in the country still dispose of used amalgam through regular waste or the waste-water system. Only 1 in 20 dentists is reported to have an amalgam separator installed in their practice, mainly owing to financial constraints or a lack of knowledge regarding such measures.

Although studies in Europe have indicated that regular use of amalgam and its disposal do not pose significant health risks to dental personal, exposure to high levels of mercury has been proven to damage kidneys, the nervous system and the gastrointestinal tract.

“The health of staff working under these conditions will be impaired in the same way as that of dental nurses in Norway and New Zealand, for example, who were using copper amalgam a few decades ago,” commented amalgam expert Lars Hylander from Sweden. “Also, a recent EU study indicated substantial loss of IQ in European dentists due to mercury exposure.”

Final results from the project are expected to be published later this year after the testing in several cities has been completed. A first in Pakistan, it seeks to provide reliable data on indoor and outdoor mercury pollution throughout the Western Asian country. The project is being conducted in collaboration with the European Environmental Bureau and the Zero Mercury Working Group, a coalition of non-governmental organisations aimed at the reduction of mercury worldwide.

This article was originally published at: Dental Tribune International

The opinions expressed in this article are the author's own and do not necessarily reflect the viewpoint or stance of SDPI.