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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.

Mercury Poisoning Dentistry- Study of Mercury levels of Air & Around Dental Sites in Pakistan and Resulting Environment & Health Hazards

Partner:  EEB/ZMWG

Duration: 2013

Locale: Select sites of dental colleges, teaching hospitals and clinics at Lahore, Peshawar, Islamabad, Rawalpindi and Abbottabad

Team Members: Dr. Mahmood A. Khwaja


Despite a toxic pollutant Mercury is used in dental amalgam fillings since it is the most economical option. It has effects on environment as well as on the health of people exposed i.e. medical and paramedical staff and persons with dental amalgam fillings. SDPI team  monitored mercury concentration in the air of dental hospitals, teaching hospitals, dental clinics and two industries. Safe level of mercury in air is 300 ng/m3. Key informant interviews were conducted to assess the handling, disposal and management of mercury filling. It is widely used in the field of dentistry because it’s the best filling material.


  • Identification of “Mercury Hot Spots”, in close proximity to populated areas
  • Development of baseline data regarding mercury indoor levels at dental sites and in air
  • Dissemination and discussion of collected data with all stakeholders, including policy makers and government officials for appropriate policy intervention (including signing/ratifying “Minamata Convention on Mercury”) and its implementation in the country
  • Policy advice/formulation of recommendations towards control measures for mercury releases/minimization of mercury exposure
  • Awareness-raising regarding health impact of mercury in the light of data/findings of the study


  • Survey and field monitoring at select cities in the country
  • Information dissemination, awareness raising and local, regional and international networking, including poster competition among students from various schools, seminars, and newspaper articles
  • Research based policy intervention


  • The survey and monitoring data collected from various sites show higher level of mercury in air than the US EPA (RfC) limits.
  • Among dental sites, mercury contamination of air was found to be generally in the increasing order operative section > corridor > open air (mostly below permissible limits) and teaching hospitals/dental colleges > general hospitals > private clinics.
  • Lack of awareness to the mercury handling, mishandling of the mercury/mercury amalgam, mercury containing waste, improper and inadequate ventilation system and lack of awareness regarding health hazards of mercury are the main reasons for the observed elevated levels of mercury in air at some of the visited sites.

For More Information, Contact the Following Person:

Mahmood A. Khwaja