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Mercury is released when dentists remove fillings or remove excess amalgam when placing new fillings. The chemical element has been linked to kidney, brain and neurological damage, as well as damage to the digestive tract. (Photograph: Lighthunter/Shutterstock)
0 Comments Oct 8, 2014 | News Americas

First Brazilian university to promote environmentally friendly disposal of dental amalgam

Post a comment by Anita Vazquez Tibau, international advocate against the use of mercury in dentistry

NOVA FRIBURGO, Brazil: History was made at the Universidade Federal Fluminense in Nova Friburgo, one of the largest universities in Brazil, with a ceremony to mark the first installation of mercury amalgam separators by a federal university in Brazil. The separators were installed for 95 chairs used by the approximately 400 dental students who are currently enrolled in the university's dental program.

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Anita Vazquez Tibau Anita Vazquez Tibau

Dr. Claudio Fernandes, who has been teaching at the university for seven years, spearheaded the project. During the past year, Fernandes has been working with the International Academy of Oral Medicine and Toxicology (IAOMT) to implement proper disposal of amalgam and propel dentistry into the twenty-first century. After attending the IAOMT's first Technical Assistance Programme (TAP) in Rio de Janeiro in October 2013 and learning about mercury-free, mercury-safe and environmentally sound dentistry, he requested that the IAOMT present a one-day workshop at his university to encourage its move toward early implementation of the Minamata Convention on Mercury.

The IAOMT will be holding its first university TAP one-day workshop at the Universidade Federal Fluminense in Nova Friburgo on Nov. 7. These workshops will be presented by the IAOMT and International Academy of Biological Dentistry and Medicine lecturers Drs. Blanche Grube from the U.S. and David Warwick from Canada. In addition, the IAOMT will be holding three free two-day TAP workshops in Brazil: Nov. 4–5 in Brasilia; Nov. 10–11 in Rio de Janeiro; and Nov. 13–14 in São Paulo.

The national campaign for a mercury-free dentistry in Brazil is being organized by the IAOMT Brazilian Chapter president Dr. Martha Faissol and international TAP coordinator Anita Vazquez Tibau.

For more information, download the TAP brochure here.

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