High Risk of Mercury Exposure to Public Health due to Mercury Amalgam Use in Dentistry in Pakistan (PB-34)

High Risk of Mercury Exposure to Public Health due to Mercury Amalgam Use in Dentistry in Pakistan (PB-34)

Publication details

  • Tuesday | 09 Jul, 2013
  • Mahmood A. Khwaja, Maryam Shabbir Abbasi
  • Policy Briefs/Papers
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Mahmood A. Khwaja Maryam Shabbir Abbasi

Introduction

Dental mercury amalgam, also called silver filling or amalgam filling, is used widely because it’s inexpensive, ease of use, and best settling material. Most importantly, it is resin free, which makes it less allergic than composite fillings. These fillings gave off mercury vapors and its amount depends upon cavity size, tooth characteristics, composition, age of amalgam, time taken for filling, the number of fillings, temperature of ingested food/drinking liquids and the activities like chewing & grinding of teeth. (MERC Vermont 1998, Intelligence Service 2012)

Mercury (Hg), the essential constituent of dental amalgam, is also known as quick silver, is a toxic substance of global concern. A persistent pollutant, Mercury is not limited to its source but it travels, on time thousands of kilometers away from the source. Mercury poses risks to environment and human health, especially the health of children. In September 2012, IUCN World Conservation Congress (IUCN WCC-2012) adopted SDPI Motion (M-169) and called upon government representatives of Intergovernmental Negotiating Committee (INC) to support a legally binding treaty on Mercury with an objective to protect human health and the environment from hazardous and toxic Mercury. In January 2013, 140 countries in Geneva adopted a ground-breaking, world’s first legally binding treaty on mercury, to be called "Minamata Convention on Mercury," limiting the use and emission of health-hazardous mercury. It shall be open for signatures at a diplomatic conference in Japan, in October 2013 (UNEP 2013)......