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BAN Toxics applauds FDA for the issuance of Health Warning Against Mercury-containing Medical Devices and Dental Amalgams in online markets

By: Baby Cuevas

Toxic watchdog group BAN Toxics commends the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for issuing a public health advisory against the sale and use of mercury-added thermometers and sphygmomanometers, along with dental amalgam capsules and liquid mercury for use in dental restorative purposes, on online market platforms to protect human health from its adverse effects.

Citing the FDA advisory: “the manufacture, importation, exportation, distribution, sale, offer for sale, donation, transfer, and where applicable, the use, promotion, advertising, or sponsorship of mercury-added thermometers and sphygmomanometers along with dental amalgam capsules and liquid mercury for use in dental restorative purposes, are banned and are considered a direct violation to Republic Act No. 9711, otherwise known as the “Food and Drug Administration Act of 2009”.

The Department of Health (DOH) issued Administrative Order No. 2020-0020, known as “Guidelines on the Phase-out of Mercury Use in Dental Restorative Procedures in 2020. The AO covers the phasing-out on the importation, distribution, manufacture, storage, transport, handling, use (including dental schools and research), and disposal of dental amalgams in the Philippines.

“Regulatory action made by the FDA is commendable as this will put pressure on the illegal trading of mercury-containing products in both the online and on-site markets,” said Thony Dizon, Toxics Campaigner, BAN Toxics.

BAN Toxics calls the attention of all online shopping platforms to strictly comply with FDA regulations on prohibited and banned products, and actively remove the ads and/or sellers who violate the community standard policy on restricted goods and services for the benefit of the consuming public,” the group added.

The group has been monitoring the online shopping sites for mercury-containing products, including liquid mercury, mercury-containing medical devices, dental amalgam capsules, and mercury-added skin whitening products, which are banned and prohibited in the country in accordance with the Minamata Convention on Mercury.

Mercury is cited by the World Health Organization as one of the top ten chemicals of major concern due to its adverse impacts to human health and the environment. The chemical is known to negatively impact our nervous, digestive, and immune systems.

The group further urges e-commerce platforms to consider shifting to mercury-free online shopping sites and promote a safe social media environment for the public.

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