AN EVALUATION OF DENTAL AMALGAM WASTE DISPOSAL PRACTICES IN DENTAL TEACHING HOSPITALS AND PRIVATE CLINICS OF ISLAMABAD & PUNJAB, PAKISTAN
To highlight the extent of implementation and current waste dental amalgam disposal procedures in dental teaching hospitals and private practices in Islamabad and Punjab province, Pakistan; according to International Standard Organization (ISO)guidelines.
A customized questionnaire was dispatched to various teaching hospitals, dental outpatient departments (OPDs) and private clinics located in urban and semi-urban parts of Islamabad, Lahore and Rawalpindi districts. The overall response rate was close to 90%. Out of 300 forms dispatched to the above mentioned urban and semi – urban zones; a total of 261 respondents returned the filled questionnaires. SPSS software (version 20.0) was used to tabulate and organize the data and reproduce the findings.
A majority of respondents in both the hospital and private clinics resorted to non ISO compliant methods of disposing off waste dental amalgam such as the waste bin (teaching hospitals (75%) and private practice (61%)). Hand mixing technique or manual trituration was reported around 37.5% as compared to ideal method of encapsulated amalgam manipulation (58.6%).
In order to improve handling of waste amalgam in the dental practice, effective implementation of Best Management Guidelines at the regional and national level, such as regular continuous dental educational activities at dental learning centers for staff and practitioners, would help towards creating a better understanding amongst all stakeholders with respect to the biological and environmental impact of generating un regulated dental amalgam by products.
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