ADIA is the peak business organisation representing manufacturers and suppliers of dental products. Our vision is for an industry that empowers oral health professionals to advance the health and wellbeing of all Australians...................... — ADIA Strategic Plan

Media Release —
Ratify The Minamata Convention Says Dental Industry


— 8 November 2018
For Immediate Release

It’s time for the Australian Government to ratify the Minamata Convention on Mercury says the Australian Dental Industry Association (ADIA), the peak business organisation representing manufacturers and suppliers of innovative dental products.

The Minamata Convention on Mercury is a global treaty to protect human health and the environment from the adverse effects of mercury. It was agreed at the fifth session of the Intergovernmental Negotiating Committee on Mercury in Switzerland on 19 January 2013 and adopted later that year on 10 October 2013 at a diplomatic conference held in Japan.

Major highlights of the Minamata Convention on Mercury include a ban on new mercury mines, the phase-out of existing ones, the phase out and phase down of mercury use in a number of products and processes, control measures on emissions to air and on releases to land and water. The Convention also addresses interim storage of mercury and its disposal once it becomes waste, sites contaminated by mercury, as well as health issues. It is in connection with these that the interests of the dental industry rest given that mercury used in dental amalgam is a common tooth restorative material.

“Australia’s dental industry supports the Convention without reserve and we are committed to working with the Australian Government to ensure that, as a nation, we meet our commitments,” said Troy Williams, ADIA Chief Executive Officer

The impact of the Minamata Convention on Mercury on dentistry is significant. Outcomes include the phase-down of dental amalgam fillings (the old-style silver-grey fillings) material and its replacement with a range of modern alternatives. It also requires the dental industry to work with dentists to install dental amalgam capture and storage equipment to ensure that dental amalgam fillings, when removed from patients, are not disposed of in the water supply.

“Australia’s dental industry is dedicated to supporting the dental profession in the installation of equipment that ensures waste dental amalgam is captured and treated properly, preventing its release into the environment,” Mr Williams said.

The Minamata Convention on Mercury entered into force on 16 August 2017, on the ninetieth day after the date of deposit of the fiftieth instrument of ratification, acceptance, approval or accession. As at 8 November 2018, some 128 nations have signed the convention and 101 nations have ratified it – of significance is the fact that Australia is amongst the nations not to have ratified the convention.

“ADIA continues to engage with the Minister for the Environment in order to expedite Australia’s ratification of the treaty,” Mr Williams said.


Media Contact —

Brittany Butterworth
ADIA Communications Officer
t: 1300 943 094.....e:

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