Minamata Convention amended to protect children from amalgam

“….Exclude or not allow, by taking measures as appropriate, or recommend against the use of dental amalgam for the dental treatment of deciduous teeth [baby teeth], of patients under 15 years and of pregnant and breastfeeding women….“

This new amendment represents a worldwide consensus that dental amalgam is not safe for children and other vulnerable populations – it is not safe in their mouths and it is not safe in their environment.

The Africa Region led the charge to win this amendment. We were honored to provide technical assistance as African nations built support for the proposed amendment and reached out to the 27-nation European Union, which was proposing its own amendment to strengthen the treaty’s amalgam requirement.

Consumers for Dental Choice and our international allies undertook a multi-pronged campaign to lay the groundwork for passing the amalgam amendment: convincing the Minamata Secretariat that mercury-free alternatives to amalgam are feasible…persuading the World Health Organization to acknowledge that an amalgam phase-out is possible…sharing the science and practical policy solutions with governments from every region…and battling misinformation from the pro-mercury World Dental Federation (FDI). Thanks to funding from so many of you, the mercury-free dentistry movement was present in force during the amendment debates in Bali, Indonesia: we led a ten-person team of talented and energetic nonprofit group leaders and dental experts from Bangladesh, Cameroun, Germany, Great Britain, Ivory Coast, Jordan, Kenya, Nigeria, Uruguay, and Vietnam.

Now that hard work has paid off – and we’re going to springboard this victory into the abolition of amalgam use in everybody!

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