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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.

Number of Downlaods: 24

Published Date: Apr 1, 2014

Toxic Mercury/Mercury Amalgm Use in Dentistry

Review and Evaluation of Curriculum in Dental Teaching Institutions of Pakistan


The present study was designed follow up to an earlier SDPI study reported last year, in May, 2013, regarding alarmingly high mercury levels in air (indoor as well as outdoor) at 11 of the 34 dental sites (17 dental teaching institutions, 7 general hospitals & 10 dental clinics) in five main cities of Pakistan. 88% of the sites indicated indoor mercury levels in air above the USA EPA reference level of 300ng/m3. These very high levels of mercury vapors in air are thought to be due to more than one reasons, including the use of liquid mercury & non-mechanical mixing for mercury amalgam making and lack of environmentally sound best practices for mercury emissions/releases control. SDPI study also showed general unawareness among dental professionals regarding appropriate handling of mercury/mercury amalgam, management of mercury containing wastes, improper and inadequate ventilation system and lack of awareness about health hazards of mercury exposure to human health and its impact on the environment. Another main reason for the observed elevated levels of mercury vapors in air at operative dentistry wards/halls, adjacent corridors and surrounding air, at some of the visited dental teaching institutions, was the very careless/care free use of mercury/mercury amalgam by the students of these institutions.

UNEP Global assessment report on mercury, assesses mercury as toxic to humans, wildlife and environment. In the list of toxic substances, mercury is ranked at 3rd by ATSDR, the agency of toxic substances and disease registry.

The present SDPI study was undertaken, in view of the hazardousness of mercury, its adverse impacts on environment and health, lack of environmentally sound practices/technologies in dentistry and lack of awareness of the same, among majority of present and future dental professionals in the country. The main objective of the present study was to review the curriculum/syllabus, presently offered by national and professional bodies (including Pakistan medical and dental council-PMDC) to the dental teaching institutions in the country and to assess and evaluate its contents with regard to mercury/mercury amalgam use and the related issues, For comparison and guidance, the curriculum offered by medical and dental council of neighboring countries, Bangladesh and India and some teaching institutions in India and Pakistan were also reviewed.

A survey carried out at 38 dental teaching institutions in the country indicated (42.86% of the respondents) that the present curriculum did not effectively lead outgoing future dental professionals and did not provide information, knowledge and training on the mercury/ mercury amalgam related human health issues. As also expressed by large majority of the respondents (90.48%), it’s time that the current dental curriculum offered to dental teaching institutions in the country be reviewed and revised at the national level, to fulfill the existing serious omissions by including relevant contents regarding the health, safety, environment, non-mercury fillings/alternatives materials, guidelines for mercury contaminated waste management and control measures for mercury emissions/releases. Details of the activities, collected data, findings material/results and recommendations are described and discussed in the foregoing pages.

Key words: amalgam, curriculum, dentistry, health, mercury