UNEP-WHO-FDI-IDM launch amalgam pilot project in East Africa on 6 March

27 February 2013

FDI is organising a workshop for the dental professsionals in East Africa on the phase down of dental amalgam. The project is being undertaken as part of the UNEP-WHO-IDM-FDI pilot project. The workshop was made possible thanks to the support of IDM—in particular former IDM president Pam Clark—and Dental Recycling North America, USA.

The pilot project will focus on best management practice, prevention, and information on alternative dental filling materials, in line with the recently approved Minamata Convention on Mercury.

The initial workshop, organized 6 March in Kampala (Uganda), focuses on capacity building and targets dental educators and waste management technicians. IDM and DRNA will generously supply amalgam separators to be installed in 9 pilot sites in Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania.

Workshop participants will be in charge of installing the devices and training local dentists on best management practice when using dental amalgam. The mid-term intention is to develop local expertise in amalgam waste management and recycling of mercury.

Data indicate that, in this region of the world, tooth extraction unfortunately remains the most common dental treatment, with a ratio of 1 filling to 30 extractions. As supported by the Minamata Convention, prevention is the key element in the phase down of amalgam.

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