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The UNEP & World Alliance for Mercury-Free Dentistry Pushes for Immediate Phase-Down of Dental Amalgam Use

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Dead Sea, Jordan 9, March 2016 - The United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and The World Alliance for Mercury-Free Dentistry (WAMFD) urged governments around the world to a phase-down of dental amalgam use.

Speaking at a side-event at the ongoing Intergovernmental Negotiating Committee on Mercury in Jordan, the groups stressed that only a strong national implementation plan on the phase-down of dental amalgam use can minimize and halt the environment and health risks associated with continued mercury use.

The side-event, entitled "€œImplementing Successful Strategies to Phase Down Amalgam Use", was held at the King Hussein Bin Talal Convention Centre in Jordan and was organized by the WAMFD and UNEP, saw speakers from regions such as Asia, Latin America, and Africa.


"Setting up national objectives for minimizing amalgam use and the promotion of mercury-free dental restorations is very important.", Atty Charles Brown, President of the WAMFD stated, "We also need to include public awareness campaigns on dental amalgam'™s mercury content and encourage government programs to favor mercury-free dentistry particularly for children and women of reproductive age."

As the Philippine representative to the INC 7, Dr Lilian Lasaten-Ebuen, WAMFD's VP for South East Asia and President of IAOMT-Philippines added, "€œMercury-free dental restorations should be made available to all, most importantly to marginalized sectors where oral health problems are more rampant."€

Citing the Department of Health'™s AO21 and the country'€™s experience in addressing mercury use in healthcare, Dr Ebuen also stressed that the Philippines is in a unique position and should take a lead role in the South East Asian region and push for an immediate phase-out instead of a phase-down. "€œThe Minamata Convention requires involved parties to meet their treaty obligations according to their experience. In our case, we already have laws and regulations in place, so why go through a phase-down? For us, a phase-out is the practical route."€ She shared.

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Desiree Montecillo Narvaez, Programme Officer, UNEP Chemicals and Waste Branch Chaired the session. Dr. Lillian Ebuen, practicing dentist in the Philippines, Dr. Shahriar Hossain, environmental leader and journalist of Bangladesh, Maria Carcamo, environmentalist of Uruguay, Dominique Bally of JVE-Cote d'€™Ivoire, environmentalist were the speakers of the event.

Michel Bender of Mercury Policy Project, USA presented the overview of UNEP Brochure which contained lessons from countries phasing down dental amalgam use.Michel Bender of Mercury Policy Project, USA presented the overview of UNEP Brochure which contained lessons from countries phasing down dental amalgam use.