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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.

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Published Date: Feb 6, 2014

Study of indoor air mercury pollution at dental teaching institutions, hospitals and clinics resulting from mercury amalgam use in dentistry (W – 139)


Mercury has been used in dental amalgams for over 160 years. These contains approximately elementary mercury 50 %, silver 30% and 20% other metals such as tin, copper & Zinc (Hardy, James E 1998; SDPI, 2013), Dental amalgams are also called silver fillings and amalgam fillings and are widely done because it’s inexpensive, ease of use, best settling material and most importantly it is resin free which make it less allergic than composite fillings. In 2005, UNEP estimated that 362 tons of dental mercury are consumed annually worldwide.3 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 (VACMP, 1998; BIO 2012).The daily intake of the vapors of mercury, from ambient air and dental fillings, through absorption into the bloodstream of adults is about 32ng Hg /2ngm-3 (of background air) in rural areas and about 160ng Hg/10ngm-3 (of background air) in urban areas. Estimated average absorbed concentrations of mercury vapors from dental fillings vary from 3,000 to 17,000ng Hg(Clarkson 1988; Skare and Engqvist1994). As mercury vapor, it is taken up via the lungs, and 80% of it is absorbed.

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. Scientific evidence, including UNEP Global Mercury report, establishes mercury as an extremely toxic substance, which is a major threat to wildlife, ecosystem and human health at a global scale (Arvidson, Arvidsson&, Johansson 1994). It is also a major threat to fish that constitutes an all-important nutritious component of human diet. Children are more at risk from mercury poisoning which affects their neurological development and brain. Mercury poisoning diminishes memory, attention, thinking and sight. Mercuric ion reacts immediately with intracellular molecules or structures (e.g., enzymes, glutathione, tubulin, ion channels, or transporters), inhibiting their activities and interfering with normal cellular function. Mercury vapors can cause damages to central nervous system, thyroid, kidneys, lungs, immune system, eyes, gums and skin. Neurological and behavioral disorders include tremors, insomnia, memory and vision problems, neuromuscular effects and headaches. Fetuses and young children are more vulnerable to the mercury vapors (Alex Kirby et al. 2012; Pamphlett & Coote 1998; Stortebecker 1989);

Mercury poses risks to environment and human health, especially the health of children. In September, 2012, IUCN World Conservation Congress (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 (UNEP 2013). In January, 2013, 140 countries in Geneva adopted a ground-breaking, world’s first legally binding treaty on mercury, now called “Minamata Convention on Mercury,” limiting the use and emission of health-hazardous mercury. To-date, the convention has already been signed by 94 countries (Minamata 2013).

In the past, a number of studies at dental sites in many countries have been carried out and reported. Only very specific data reported in these studies (24 dental sites in 10 countries), regarding indoor mercury vapors levels has been included and discussed. The present paper also describes and discusses findings of some recent investigations on indoor mercury levels carried out at dental sites  in five main cities of Pakistan and six other countries.