Global Workshop on ‘Promoting Dental Amalgam Phase Down Measures Under the Minamata Convention and Other Initiatives’

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World Alliance for Mercury-Free Dentistry and UN Environment in association with Chulabhorn Research Institute organizes a two day Global Workshop on ‘Promoting Dental Amalgam Phase Down Measures Under the Minamata Convention and Other Initiatives, For ‘Especially Women, Children, and Through Them, Future Generations’ in Bangkok, Thailand from 14 to 15 May, 2018. Government, civil society, academicians, dentists, experts and participant from industry from all over the Asia, Africa, Europe, Latin America, Central America took part in the workshop.

The workshop was opened by Mr. Shahriar Hossain, Executive Vice President of the World Alliance for Mercury-Free Dentistry and Workshop Co-chair, who welcomed the participants. He then introduced Ms. Desiree Narvaez, UN Environment, who recognized dental amalgam as an environmental issue and the need for this workshop. She then proceeded to introduce a video prepared by UN Environment Executive Director, Mr. Erik Solheim. Mr. Solheim highlighted the environmental impact caused by mercury in Japan and how this tragedy pushed to take action by finally entering into force the Minamata Convention. He noted that Merucyr release without safeguards everyone at risk with children being the most vulnerable. He mentioned that the Montreal Protocol was the model agreement for the 20th century and suggested to make the Minamata a model for the 21st century.

Desiree then proceeded to read the speech prepared by Ms. Dechen Tsering, Regional Director for Asia and the Pacific of UN Environment. She read that UN Environment is pleased to co-host workshop with the World Alliance for Mercury Free Dentistry. She noted that amalgam can release mercury at different stages of its lifecycle and how the Minamata Convention will help to protect human health and the environment.

Mr. Hossain then introduced to Ms. Nina Cromnier, Swedish Chemicals Agency and Bureau member of the Minamata Convention. Ms. Cromnier noted that the workshop was a place to discuss and exchange experiences in phasing down dental amalgam. She mentioned that in Sweden all uses of mercury have been phased out, with strong commitment of civil society, industry, big awareness of consumers. Mr. Hossain then introduced Ms. Suwanna Tiansuwan, Deputy Director General from the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment of Thailand as the host nation. Ms. Tiansuwan welcomed all the participants and shared that Thailand is working towards the implemention of the Minamata Convention and thanked the World Alliance and UN Environment for the opportunity of the workshop as a place for discussion on dental amalgam issue.