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Mercury rising under control

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It is heartening to note; ‘Polyclinic bans mercury fillings over health hazards’. An earlier study carried out by SDPI in five selected cities of Pakistan also indicated that indoor mercury vapours at some dental sites including dental teaching institutions, hospitals and private dental clinics were very high compared to the permissible levels for the protection of public health, especially that of health workers and children.

Pakistan is now a signatory to the Minamata Convention on mercury to phase out the use of mercury. It is expected that other dental institutions in the country will voluntarily stop mercury use in dentistry before the government bans it in the near future to meet the obligation of the Minamata Convention.

The recent action by the government to bring down mercury use at hospitals is a step in the right direction, after Pakistan became a signatory to the Minatama Convention on phasing out Mercury. Relevant government departments should encourage such steps taken by public or private institutions on their own.

These health-friendly initiatives will help the government in spreading the word and accelerate the phasing out process. Since health is now a provincial subject, Provincial health departments should now take the lead in creating awareness on the hazards of mercury use, and run a campaign for mercury phase-out beginning with public hospitals.

January 16, 2014

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Dental is part of the Medical News Group of publications which in 1968 became the pioneer of medical journalism in Pakistan. Medical News is the only periodical in Pakistan which has 3 simultaneous editions from Karachi, Islamabad and online.

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