Saturday 20th July 2019
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Mercury-free dentistry: CPC, groups educate care consumers

The Sustainable Research & Action for Environmental Development (SRADev) Nigeria and World Alliance for Mercury Free Dentistry (WAMFD) are collaborating with the Consumer Protection Council (CPC) towards educating dental care consumers over the dangers inherent in the use of amalgam.

President, World Alliance for Mercury-Free Dentistry, Charles Brown (left); with executive director, SRADev Nigeria, Leslie Adogame

President, World Alliance for Mercury-Free Dentistry, Charles Brown (left); with executive director, SRADev Nigeria, Leslie Adogame

According to scientists, amalgam, which is used as a tooth filling in dental care, contains mercury, a substance considered dangerous to human health.

As part of a global programme to phase-down the use of dental amalgam, which is in line with the implementation of the Minamata Convention in the country, SRADev, WAMFD and CPC have adopted a “Consumer Tips” brochure to raise awareness. on the issue

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Developed by the CPC, the brochure, it was gathered, would ensure the rights of the consumer – such as Right to Safety, Right to Information, Right to Choose, Right to Consumer Education and Right to a Healthy Environment – are protected and promoted.

The CPC director of Quality Assurance & Development, Amlai Emmanuel, informed officials of SRADev and WAMFD in a recent correspondence that the commission’s director-general had approved the draft brochure, and requested that they (SRADev and WAMFD) can commence its (the handbook’s) printing.

Charlie Brown and Leslie Adogame (left) with officials of the CPC during a recent roundtable in Abuja

Charlie Brown and Leslie Adogame (left) with officials of the CPC during a recent roundtable in Abuja

Tagged “Dental fillings: The choice you have,” the six-page document highlights topics such as the toxic effects of mercury, toxicity of dental materials, and types of restorative fillings – which are listed to include: composite resin, dental amalgam, glass ionomer cement, resin ionomer cement, gold alloy and porcelain fused cement.

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A heavy metal occurring in several forms, mercury can damage the brain, kidney and lungs.

The legally binding treaty, Minamata Convention on Mercury, requires nations to “phase down” the use of amalgam fillings and urges the use of mercury-free fillings. The Nigerian government has reportedly signed the treaty, signalling its commitment to reducing amalgam use.

Essentially, the brochure urges a consumer to:

  • inquire about mercury-free filling options from the dentist,
  • consider environmental impact of mercury from amalgam fillings,
  • consider helping to phase down amalgam filling use by choosing a mercury-free filling like composite resin or glass ionomer, and
  • make an informed decision about dental filling.
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