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31 Oct 2013 | Australasian Dental Practice

news > Spectrum > Page 46

New framework for dental amalgam use


The Australian Dental Industry Association has endorsed the adoption of the new global framework for the use of dental amalgam containing mercury.

An outcome of The Minamata Convention on Mercury, the framework has its origins in agreement by governments to address the environmental impacts of mercury, including its most toxic forms. "Both within Australia and internationally, the dental industry recognises that dental amalgam is a significant source of mercury pollution. For this reason, ADIA is pleased to support the Convention which permits the ongoing use of dental amalgam containing mercury, with a view to phasing-down use over the long-term," said Troy Williams, ADIA Chief Executive Officer. With respect to the use of dental amalgam, national governments are obligated to give effect to two or more of nine policy responses having regard for domestic circumstances and relevant international guidance. These measures include promoting the use of cost-effective and clinically effective mercury free alternatives for dental restoration in addition to encouraging insurance policies and programmes that favour the use of quality alternatives to dental amalgam for dental restoration. "The leadership of the dental industry will be vital to achieve other policy responses such as promoting research and development of quality mercury-free materials for dental restoration," said Mr Williams. Significantly, one option to give effect to the Convention is for government to set national objectives aimed at dental caries prevention and health promotion, thereby minimising the need for dental restoration.

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