The Federal Government has warned citizens against the state of amalgam use and mercury levels in dental clinics in Nigeria.Minister of State For Health, Dr. Ehanire Osagie gave the warning in Abuja, while addressing a stakeholders’ summit on development of National Policy on Phase Down of Dental Amalgam Use in Nigeria, an event organised by the Federal Ministry of Health in conjunction with Ministry of Environment, Sustainable Environment Development Initiative (SEDI) Nigeria and World Alliance For Mercury-Free Dentistry (WAMFD).
Speaking on the theme: 'Towards Mercury - free Dentistry In Nigeria, Osagie said the continued usage of mercury content in dental amalgam, a product, which is widely used as restorative material for teeth that have been damaged, is worthy of concern because of its ubiquity and confirmed adverse effects on human life, fish, wildlife, and the ecosystem.
According to him, the issue of mercury in dental amalgam is now recognised to represent a global threat that can only be tackled through cooperation at international level.
Osagie said: "There is still a relatively low level of awareness of the dangers of mercury, and the development of this policy on the phase down of dental amalgam use, will give first priority to ending its use in pregnant and breastfeeding women and children in Nigeria."
Chairman of a Civil Society Group, Phase - Out of Dental Amalgam Use in Nigeria, Dr. Leslie Adogame, said the meeting was aimed at minimising dental amalgam use by adopting strategies for ending its use in children and pregnant women by 2018.