Building international pressure to stop amalgam

Maria Carcamo with Charlie Brown

I am delighted to have worked with Charlie Brown and Consumers for Dental Choice under the umbrella of the World Alliance for Mercury-Free Dentistry since the negotiations for the Minamata Convention on Mercury. By working together with Charlie as our president, we made sure that amalgam is internationally recognized as the toxic pollutant that it is!

Since the Minamata Convention was finalized, our international team – with Charlie’s coordination – is making great strides towards mercury-free dentistry worldwide:

  • Europe:  Working with our allies in Europe, reams of comments and hours of meetings have resulted in the European Commission’s own independent consultant calling for a ban on the use of mercury in dentistry, the European Commission’s environmental science committee declaring dental amalgam an environmental risk, and the European Commission’s health committee recommending mercury-free fillings for children and pregnant women.
  • Asia:  Support for mercury-free dentistry in Asia continues to grow thanks to our team leaders on the ground.  They have brought together major players from the government, dental schools, and dental associations to participate in our workshops to end amalgam use.  And it’s getting results: a few dental schools have already updated their curricula to reflect the move to mercury-free dentistry and more dental clinics are going mercury-free! 
  • Africa:  We succeeded in fighting back the pro-mercury World Dental Federation (FDI), which sees Africa as the new market for dental mercury now that sales are slipping in many other regions. We are assisting several governments in their efforts to switch to mercury-free dentistry, including developing consumer fact sheets, hosting workshops, and briefing key government officials. 
  • Latin America:  We were pleased to welcome Charlie Brown as the first non-government organization leader ever permitted to address, collectively, the environmental ministers of South America.  After this kickstarted our work here, we now have programs in two nations working toward el país modelo, the model nation for mercury-free dentistry. 

All of this progress worldwide pushes the United States and Canada – two of the nations that use the most amalgam – to take action too.  Our international team has already met with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to insist that the FDA stop promoting amalgam use – a violation of the U.S. government’s commitment under the Minamata Convention. 
 
Muchas gracias,
Maria Cárcamo
RAPAL-Uruguay

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