The United Nations Environment Programme and the World Alliance for Mercury-Free Dentistry co-sponsored a workshop in Bangkok, Thailand to assist Asian nations working to phase down amalgam use. Entitled “Successful Strategies to Phase Down Amalgam Use Toward Mercury-Free Dentistry,” the workshop drew government officials from Bangladesh, China, Indonesia, Pakistan, Philippines, Thailand, and Vietnam; plus NGO leaders from Bangladesh, China, India, Indonesia, Nepal, Pakistan, and Philippines, as well as NGOs and dentists from across the region. Dr. Shahriar Hossain of the Environment and Social Development Organization (ESDO) chaired the workshop.
In the opening session of the two-day long program, Henk Verbeek of the UNEP Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific said “We have to promote clinically effective, affordable and environment-friendly mercury-free alternatives to achieve the goal of a mercury-free dentistry” (as quoted in the Dhaka Tribune).
Other participants included Desiree Narvaez and Kakuko Nagatani of the United Nations Environment Programme, Siddika Sultana of the Asian Center for Environmental Health, and Charles G. Brown of the World Alliance for Mercury-Free Dentistry.
“A consensus came today that amalgam use must end immediately for the children of Asia, and that concrete and effective steps will begin throughout South Asia, East Asia, and Southeast Asia that will send amalgam to the dustbins of history,” said Charles G. Brown, as quoted in the press of the event.