Washington D.C., USA, 31 July 2016: The World Alliance for Mercury-Free Dentistry has named Dr. Shahriar Hossain of Dhaka to be its Executive Vice President.
Dr. Hossain is a renowned NGO leader, ecologist and environmental journalist in Asia, working for environmental justice and governance more than two decades. He will stay in Dhaka and continue his leadership roles with Environment & Social Development Organization (ESDO) and the Asian Center for Environmental Health, both NGOs he helped found in 1990 and 2013 respectively.
The old form of dentistry was to use amalgam, a material that is 50% mercury, a neurotoxin and environmental menace. With an initiative by ESDO, Bangladeshi dentists, dental schools, NGOs, and government are working to transition the nation to nontoxic dental materials such as composite and ionomers.
Since it burst onto the scene in 2010, the World Alliance has steadily expanded its global mission, and now has programs in every region. With the decision to create a Secretariat in Washington D.C. and an alternative Secretariat in Dhaka, and to add Focal Persons in up to 50 nations, it was time to expand the leadership structure.
Charlie Brown, president of the World Alliance, said, “There is no better NGO leader in the world. It will be an honor to work aside Shahriar as our new Executive Vice President, as we work to implement the Minamata Convention on Mercury.”
Dominque Bally of Côte d’Ivoire, founder of the African Center for Environmental Health, said. “Shahriar Hossain is well known in Africa for his work against toxins and for better environment for all. This appointment will be very well received in my region.”
Dr. Hossain said: “In this role I intend to accelerate the movement to mercury-free dentistry, especially across Asia and Africa, and in Latin America as well. This role will provide more exposure for Bangladesh as a leader in the fight against mercury and other toxins in our environment.”
The Minamata Convention on Mercury, signed by well over 100 nations, will become legally binding when 50 nations ratify it. It represents a worldwide consensus that action must begin now to rid our planet of anthropogenic (man-made) uses of mercury. In Annex A-II it provides a road map for a transition to mercury-free dentistry.
With its Secretariat in Washington, the World Alliance for Mercury-Free Dentistry has a worldwide network with 9 regional vice presidents and NGO representatives in 40 nations. Led by professionals in dentistry, medicine, ecology, engineering, journalism, and law, it works in partnership with the UN Environmental Programme and governments to implement the transition to mercury-free, amalgam-free dentistry. In Bangladesh, for example, the World Alliance has hosted a national stakeholder conference in Dhaka (2012), a health professionals summit in Chittagong (2014), and a South Asian regional NGO summit in Dhaka (2014).
For more information, contact
—Charlie Brown, Washington, firstname.lastname@example.org, Tel:  202544 6333; or
—Shahriar Hossain, Dhaka, email@example.com, Tel: +880-1711545066