Petition to end use of mercury presented to AG

By Claire Wanja/Statement 

Former US State Attorney General, Charles G. Brown has presented a petition to the Kenyan Government calling for the phasing out of the use of mercury in healthcare.

Mr. Brown who called on the Attorney General, Professor Githu Muigai Friday morning, stated there was urgent need for governments in the world to stop the use of mercury which was responsible for harmful conditions affecting especially women and children.

“We are working with the Government and civil society organizations to phase out mercury used especially in especially in dental fillings or amalgam,” the former Attorney stated.

Mr. Brown who was twice elected Attorney General of West Virginia is national counsel for Consumers for Dental Choice as well as founder President of the World Alliance for Mercury-Free Dentistry. He has been instrumental in the worldwide movement to eliminate mercury amalgams, bringing mercury-free dentistry into the mainstream by challenging state dental boards, the American Dental Association and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

Kenya signed the Minamata Convention on Mercury 2013 in October 2013 during the Diplomatic Conference held in Minamata and Kumamoto, Japan, between 9 and 11 October 2013.

The Minamata Convention on Mercury 2013 is a global treaty to protect human health and the environment from the adverse effects of mercury.

Mercury upon release into the environment converts into more toxic form which become a major source of mercury in the sea food and fish people consume. In pregnant women the mercury accumulate in the fetuses leading to many defects in child birth, it also leads to reproductive failures. It also leads to brain damage.

The major highlights of the Minamata Convention on Mercury include a ban on new mercury mines, the phase-out of existing ones, control measures on air emissions, and the international regulation of the informal sector for artisanal and small-scale gold mining.

The Convention also sets out a range of measures to protect human health and the environment from its harmful effects by limiting the supply and trade of mercury; it also sets limitations on certain specific sources of mercury such as primary mining, while at the same time calls for the controlled use of mercury-added products and manufacturing processes in which mercury or mercury compounds are used, especially in artisanal and small scale gold mining.

In his discussions with Kenya’s Attorney General, Mr. Brown highlighted some of the harmful effects of mercury especially in the field of medicine and dentistry calling for the use of safer and friendlier options such as resin composites, compomers, and glass ionomers which are also cheaper.

Civil society organizations in many parts of the world have made calls to modify insurance and government programs to favor mercury free dentistry in an attempt to reduce amalgam use. The dental school curricula is also being updated to promote the use of non-mercury materials.





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