A written declaration was announced by Bangladesh Dental Society (BDS) citing that mercury dental amalgam should not be used in the treatment of pregnant women, nursing mother and children after June, 2018 through a press briefing. The weighty press conference was organized by ESDO along with BDS at Dhaka Reporters Unity on 10 March, 2018 starting from 11.00 am. and continued for 2 hours.
Syed Marghub Murshed, Former Secretary, Government of the People’s Republic of Bangladesh and Chairperson of ESDO was the session chair of the event. Among others Dr. Md. Abul Kashem, president, BDS; Dr. Humayun Kabir Bulbul, Secretary General, BDS; Dr. Shahriar Hossain, Executive Vice President of World Alliance; Siddika Sultana, Executive Director, ESDO and journalists from different media were present at the conference.
Dental amalgam, a mixture of mercury, tin, silver and copper, has been in use to treat tooth decay for more than 150 years. But the vapor that released from mercury poses adverse effects for the brain and kidneys and considering its potential toxicity, mercury is enlisted in the top ten chemicals of major public concern by WHO. Furthermore the most crucial issue regarding dental amalgam is the neurotoxic effects of mercury vapor to the neurological systems of fetuses and young children. This is high time to drain out the use of mercury amalgam in dental treatment to save people as well as environment from the consequential fatal effects of mercury, the noxious heavy metal.
As Bangladesh is a signatory country of Minamata Convention, an international treaty to phase out all sorts of mercury uses, BDS together with ESDO forwarded to phase out mercury amalgam in dental treatment through this written declaration which cited that dentistry in Bangladesh would put an end to the use of mercury amalgam in the treatment of pregnant woman, nursing mother and children within June, 2018. In accordance with that they made an urge to the Government to officially prohibit the use and export of mercury and mercury containing products. This declaration will act as an effective lightener towards the way of mercury-free dentistry.
“As a signatory country of Minamata convention, this is high time for Bangladesh to regulate laws against mercury amalgam following enforcement. I hope that Government will pay much attention in developing regulations to put an end of mercury amalgam in dental treatment to establish mercury free dentistry in Bangladesh.” said Syed Marghub Murshed, Chairperson of ESDO.
“Mercury, the poisonous heavy metal, not only threatens our lives but also our environment. While many countries have already disallowed mercury amalgam, we, the people of Bangladesh, are far behind. For protecting our future and conserving our environment, the use of mercury in dental treatment has to be outlawed right now.” said Md. Abul Kashem, president, BDS.
Dr. Humayun Kabir Bulbul, Secretary General, BDS said, “Since Minamata Convention has already entered into an international force, Bangladesh is ought to phase out mercury added products by 2020 as a signatory of the convention. We are hopeful that this declaration will draw attention of Government bodies and drive them to formalize laws against the use of mercury amalgam in dental treatment.”
“Today’s declaration of BDS signifies a way forward towards phasing out dental amalgam for the treatment of the most vulnerable groups of its toxicity. A concrete regulation from the government alongside is an urge for the early ratification of the convention”, said Dr. Shahriar Hossain, Executive Vice President of World Alliance.