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Uphold the Ban on the Sale and Use of Mercury Dental Amalgam, says Toxic Watchdog Group

Mercury Dental Amalgam

Toxic watchdog group BAN Toxics raises the alarm over the continuous selling of mercury dental amalgam (in capsule) in the market and online despite the prohibition in the country.

In the recent market surveillance conducted, the group has purchased and documented sellers of mercury dental amalgam in dental supply stores in Manila and likewise monitored more than 35 sellers in both Lazada and Shopee platforms and in Facebook Marketplace.

Based on the description as written in the container’s label, the capsules contain metallic mercury with a manufacturing date of April 2017 and expiration date of April 2027. It has a “Warning/Danger Poison” label with written recommendation for personal protection including the use of gloves, glasses, protective clothing and adequate ventilation when using.

Additional label includes California Prop 65 warning – This product contains mercury, a chemical known to the State of California to cause birth defects or other reproductive harm. The manufacturer/Importer is from Southern Dental Industries – Australia.

“This is alarming to find out the over-the-counter and online selling of mercury dental amalgam (in capsule) considering the regulation has been enforced since 2020,” said Thony Dizon, Toxics Campaigner of BAN Toxics.

“We call the attention of dental supply stores and online shopping platforms to strictly comply with the ban and immediately remove from the shelves all mercury in dental restorative procedures,” he added.

The Department of Health (DOH) issued Administrative Order No. 2020-0020, otherwise known as “Guidelines on the Phase-out of Mercury Use in Dental Restorative Procedures in 2020. The AO covers the phasing-out on the importation, distribution, manufacture, storage, transport, handling, use (including dental schools and research) and disposal of dental amalgams in the Philippines.

Mercury Dental Amalgam

The Food and Drug Administration issued FDA Circular No.2022-003 that bans all mercury-added thermometers, sphygmomanometers, dental amalgam capsules and liquid mercury for use in dental restorative purposes.

Dental amalgam, commonly known as silver fillings, is used to repair decayed or broken teeth. It often contains silver, tin, small amounts of copper and zinc, and mercury. Mercury is cited by the World Health Organization as one of the top ten chemicals of major concern due to its adverse impacts to human health and the environment. The chemical is known to negatively impact our nervous, digestive, and immune systems.

The group wrote a letter to the Food and Drug Administration/Department of Health and the Department of Trade and Industry to report the matter and recommend conducting surveillance and confiscation action to once and for all stop the selling of mercury dental amalgam to protect human health and the environment.

BAN Toxics will continue to advocate for mercury-free dentistry in and outside of the Philippines. Our children deserve a toxics-free future, and this is amplified in our call to stop the manufacture, trade, and use of dental amalgam and the promotion of safer and more accessible alternatives,” the group added.

References:

https://doh.gov.ph/wp-content/uploads/2023/08/ao2020-0020.pdf
https://www.fda.gov.ph/fda-circular-no-2022-003-banning-of-all-mercury-added-thermometers-sphygmomanometers-dental-amalgam-capsules-and-liquid-mercury-for-use-in-dental-restorative-purposes/

BAN Toxics
BAN Toxics is an environmental organization that works for the advancement of environmental justice, health, and sustainable development in the area of chemicals and wastes, with a special focus on women, children, and other marginalized sectors.
http://bantoxics.org/