A petition on Change.org is appealing to Dentsply to cease its production of dental amalgams.
The petition, spearheaded by the World Alliance for Mercury-Free Dentistry states, “We must end the toxic trade of dental mercury that pollutes our bodies, land, water and air! We have no capacity to sustainably handle more mercury polluting products, which end up in the food we eat.”
Supported by a large network of NGOs and concerned individuals around the globe, the petition is gaining steam and already has over 9000 signatories as of this writing.
“Wake up call”
Echoing the sentiments of Pennsylvania consumer welfare group, South-Pennsylvania for Mercury-Free Dentistry, the group of NGOs and citizens state that the letter and petition are a wake-up call for the company.
As the leading manufacturer of dental amalgams and its alternatives, Dentsply should immediately halt its production of dental amalgams and instead concentrate on the manufacture of mercury-free alternatives, they assert.
With the new mercury treaty (The New Minata Convention on Mercury) set to be signed this coming October, there is also a growing concern among these NGOs that surplus mercury-containing dental products will wind up in developing countries such as the Philippines.
Effects of mercury
Dental amalgams contain about 50 percent mercury and according to the petition, mercury is
- An environment pollutant. Discarded dental amalgams can wind up in water or ground systems and will remain persistent for generations. Likewise, the burning of dental amalgams through cremation releases the toxins polluting the air.
- A danger to health. Long term exposure to mercury fumes is particularly deadly to women and children. Its effects can lead to chronic illnesses, and degeneration of psycho-motor skills.
Likewise, the petition stressed that dental amalgams are a mark of social injustice as the treatment is relegated for use among lower-income families and developing countries.
You can head over to Change.org and sign the petition asking Dentsply to stop its production of dental amalgams.
For more info:
Full letter to Dentsply:
World Alliance for Mercury:
The text of the mercury treaty aka New Minamata Treaty: