Industry Reference Group — Minamata Convention
What businesses like about the Australian Dental Industry Association (ADIA) is the fact that we bring members together in order to share ideas and work towards common goals. That is what the ADIA Reference Group - Minamata Convention is all about, allowing member businesses to have a say and help shape policy on matters associated with the proposed ratification of the Minamata Convention on Mercury.
Reference Group Overview —
The ADIA Reference Group - Minamata Convention was formed to seek the input of member businesses on what ADIA's advice to government should be concerning the Minamata Convention on Mercury.
Reference Group Functions —
The primary function of the reference group is to allow members to provide expert advice on the issues raised within ADIA's representations to government on matters associated with the use, capture, and recycling of dental amalgam. This strengthens ADIA's advocacy efforts on behalf of the dental industry as it ensures government has considered the technical expertise that can only be offered by product manufacturers and suppliers.
Issues For The Industry —
The Minamata Convention on Mercury is a global treaty to protect human health and the environment from the adverse effects of mercury. The interests of the dental industry rest in the fact that dental amalgam is one of three products that represent the most significant sources of mercury in this category, the other two being pesticides and lighting.
Dental amalgam contains approximately 50% mercury and is used in around one-quarter of new fillings. Although the use of dental amalgam is showing a sustained decrease in Australia, mercury may be released into the environment from the removal of existing amalgam fillings from patients during dental procedures such as replacement fillings, crowns, and extractions.
In the coming months, the Australian Government will be considering ratification of the Minamata Convention on Mercury, an outcome considered likely. To assess what actions are needed to reduce the amount of mercury released into the environment, and the benefits and costs of taking those actions, an Exposure Draft Final Regulatory Impact Statement (RIS) on ratifying the Minamata Convention on Mercury is now available for public comment. As a result of previous advocacy undertaken by industry, the RIS notes that the Australian Government has accepted advice from ADIA that the best management practice to reduce mercury releases from dental facilities is to install traps and separators that collect the mercury-containing waste before it enters the sewage system; the trapped waste can then be recycled for reuse as dental amalgam.
Policy Objectives —
The ADIA Reference Group - Minamata Convention is working to achieve the outcome set out in the ADIA Policy statement on waste amalgam capture and recycling that aligns with the Australian Government proposed actions associated with the ratification of the Minamata Convention on Mercury.
External Stakeholder Engagement —
Department of Environment & Energy (Australian Government)
Reference Group Membership —
Any ADIA member business that manufactures or supplies dental amalgam, waste amalgam capture equipment or dental amalgam recycling services can nominate individuals to be part of this reference group. To do so, simply complete and return the form below:
ADIA Minamata Convention Reference Group - Membership application [PDF]
At the discretion of the ADIA Board other members may be invited to participate in the work of the reference Group.
Reference Group Meeting Dates —
Keep an eye out for 2019 dates.
Reference Group Membership —
Any ADIA member business that manufactures or supplies dental amalgam, recycles dental amalgam or manufacturers/installs waste amalgam recycling equipment can nominate individuals to be part of this reference group.
The ADIA Reference Group - Minamata Convention typically conducts most of its business via email and bimonthly there is a short teleconference to report on the progress that's being made to secure reforms that will benefit manufacturers and suppliers of dental amalgam, waste amalgam capture equipment or dental amalgam recycling services. The time commitment isn't great and is typically an hour every month or so.
If your business has an interest in issues associated with the use, capture, and recycling of dental amalgam and wants to have a say on how legislation affects your business, be sure to get involved. It's your chance to build a network of contacts of people with a similar interest and to get in and make a difference.
Further Information —
Keep up to date with the issues associated with the Minamata Convention be sure to follow ADIA on Facebook at www.facebook.com.au/dental.industry and subscribe to the Twitter feed @AusDental. Alternatively, please feel free to send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org or telephone 1300 943 094.
This information is available for your use under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Australia licence, with the exception of the ADIA logo, other images and where otherwise stated.