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13 February 2024

Deal Struck to Ban Mercury in Dentistry in the European Union

Consumers for Dental Choice welcomes the historic deal struck by the European Council and Parliament to end the dental amalgam era in the 27-nation European Union.

Dental amalgam (inaccurately called “silver fillings”) is approximately 50% mercury—a neurotoxin and reproductive toxin. The European Union has already banned the use of amalgam in children, pregnant women, and nursing mothers in a regulation that went into effect in 2018.

But this was not enough to protect the environment and human health, as the European Commission explained in its 2023 proposal to ban amalgam: “Dental amalgam is the largest remaining intentional use of mercury in the Union estimated at around 40 t in 2019…Considering the availability of mercury-free alternatives, it is appropriate to prohibit the use of dental amalgam for dental treatment of all members of the population…”

In response, the European Council and Parliament worked out a deal (to be formally adopted in the coming months) in which:

Amalgam use ends in all EU countries on 1 January 2025 (the regulation retains narrow, time-limited exemptions so a few Member States can adjust their insurance).

Amalgam manufacture and import are phased out on a timetable, cutting off the supply of this mercury product in the EU.

Amalgam exports are banned next year too—so the EU will no longer allow amalgam sellers to dump this toxic product in Africa or Latin America.

“We welcome the amalgam ban in the EU,” said Charlie Brown, executive director of Consumers for Dental Choice. “But we are concerned that this mercury product continues to be used in the United States, especially in government programs.”

Amalgam use is still common in the United States, especially in government dental programs that implant this mercury product into soldiers and sailors, American Indians and Native Alaskans, and low-income children and institutionalized individuals.

Brown concludes, “It is time for the United States to join the European Union in banning the use of mercury in dentistry.”

Source: https://european-union.europa.eu/

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