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May , 2013
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Mercury pollution inside dental hospitals quite high

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Source: The News, Date: April , 2013

Islamabad

 

A recent study reveals high level of ‘indoor mercury pollution’ in the air inside dental hospitals of the twin cities.

 

The study conducted by the Sustainable Development Policy Institute (SDPI) in collaboration with European Environmental Bureau and Zero Mercury Working Group seeks to monitor mercury emission and release sites in various cities of Pakistan and assess air quality to protect environment and human health.

 

As the mercury metal and its amalgam are widely used in dental treatment, SDPI monitoring team visited various dental hospitals in Rawalpindi and Islamabad and took measurements of indoor and outdoor air for mercury contamination using special equipment called Lumex Mercury Analyser.

 

The study came up with the findings that indoor air at some dental teaching hospitals has 8-20 times higher level of mercury pollutants than permissible limit for human health. However, the outdoor air around testing sites showed lower level of mercury compared to indoor air.

 

These results were duly shared with the staff and administration of these institutions with suggestions to immediately adopt safety measures such as improved cross-air ventilation, installation of exhaust fans and most importantly a reduction in the use of mercury, its amalgam and waste at the dental treatment institutions.

 

The study, currently in progress, also includes monitoring of other mercury source and release sites, which would culminate into a comprehensive report that would be shared with relevant stakeholders including Ministry of Climate Change, EPAs, administration of dental treatment institutions, management of chlor-alkali and light product manufacturing plants for subsequent policy actions. The report would also be used to raise awareness in public on toxicity and health hazards of exposure to mercury.

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