KPK bans use of mercury dental fillings for children below 15

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ISLAMABAD, July 13 (Correspondent). The provincial government of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KPK) has immediately restricted the use of mercury dental fillings for children below 15 throughout the province to protect them from catching serious diseases.

Directorate-General of Health Services, KPK, in its notification (2405-70/Dev:/General File(SDPI) Dental) dated July 10, 2018 and addressed to all district health officers, medical superintendents, Dean of Khyber College of Dentistry, Peshawar and quarters concerned says: “All health workers in the dentistry unit of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Province are requested to restrict  and do not prefer mercury dental fillings for children below the age of 15 years in KPK to safeguard their health at their very early age with immediate effect.”

The action has been taken in the backdrop of a research-based campaign launched by Sustainable Development Policy Institute (SDPI) in print and social media throughout the country to ban or restrict the use of mercury dental amalgam, especially for children to safeguard their health.

SDPI has warmly welcomed the provincial government’s initiative to safeguard children’s health, at their very early age.  “We are confident that the step taken in the very right direction would go a long way in phasing out dental mercury amalgam use not only in Pakistan but also in our neighboring countries, says Dr. Mahmood Khwaja, Senior Advisor on Chemicals and Sustainable Industrial Development, SDPI.

Mercury is a toxic substance and its use in all silver-coloured dental fillings has been linked to environmental harm, as well as increased risks of Alzheimer’s disease, multiple sclerosis, infertility, anxiety, depression, fatigue, and many other adverse health conditions. The use of viable mercury free alternatives for dental fillings is rapidly on the increase in many countries, including Pakistan. Children are more vulnerable to this substance as its use causes neurological and reproductive problems, and damages kidneys and features.

To protect human health and environment from emission from mercury and mercury compounds, global governments adopted Minamata convention on mercury to which more than 128 countries including Pakistan have signed and 93 countries have also ratified the convention