FDI World Dental Federation participated in a joint meeting of the World Health Organization (WHO) and United Nations Environmental Programme (UNEP) on 16-17 November 2009 in Geneva, Switzerland.

Experts from around the world were invited to the meeting to assess the scientific evidence available on the use of restorative materials, including dental amalgam, and the implications of using alternatives to amalgam in dental restorative care.

FDI President, Dr Roberto Vianna, and Executive Director, Dr David Alexander, attended the meeting, presenting a unified position for dentistry based on the resolution on amalgam drafted and passed at General Assembly during the 2009 FDI Annual World Dental Congress (AWDC) in Singapore. In a presentation entitled “Dental restorative materials in clinical practice – views of the dental profession”, Drs Vianna and Alexander argued that no ban or phase-down of mercury used in the dental profession should occur before a true alternative to dental amalgam is widely available in all communities. This FDI position is based upon several FDI policy statements and was jointly crafted under the leadership of the Science Committee.

FDI has been closely monitoring developments with regards to the global regulation of mercury as a member of the UNEP Global Mercury Partnership. Following the 2009 FDI AWDC, the Science Committee recommended the formation of a task team to ensure the international dental community and issues regarding dental amalgam were universally represented in UNEP discussions. This task team includes Dr Eduardo Ceccotti (CMSC), Dr Peter Cooney (WDDHPC), Dr Stuart Johnson (DPC), Dr Derek Jones (SciC), Prof Masaki Kambara (Council), Dr Orlando Monteiro da Silva (ExecC), Dr Sarkis Sozkes (EduC) and Dr Martin Tyas (contributing expert). Dr Johnson was at the FDI head office in Geneva during the WHO-UNEP proceedings to represent dental practitioners and provide leadership in the preparation of an official FDI Statement of Position.

The recent WHO-UNEP meeting is part of a two-phase approach designed to inform future intergovernmental discussions on the subject. Other meeting attendees included Professor David Williams, President of the International Association for Dental Research (IADR), Dr Daniel Meyer, Senior Vice-President, Science/Professional Affairs at the American Dental Association (ADA), and Dr Benoit Soucy, Director of Clinical and Scientific Affairs at the Canadian Dental Association (CDA).

More information about the UNEP Global Mercury Partnership and FDI’s official Statement of Position following the WHO-UNEP meeting in Geneva is available at the FDI website (www.fdiworldental.org).

Published in: on 2009/12/09 at 1:32 am  Leave a Comment  

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