**** LATEST NEWS! ****

Press Release

For immediate release, February 8th ,2016

***

New Commission proposal puts EU on path from hero to zero to address global mercury crisis

Brussels, 8 February 2016 – The European Commission has quietly launched its new mercury package on 2nd February 2016 [1], moving the EU a step closer towards ratifying the Minamata Convention, a UN treaty to stamp out mercury [2]. While the European Environmental Bureau (EEB) welcomes the new package, its content fails to meet even the lowest of expectations.

We are deeply disappointed with this bare-bones proposal from the Commission,” said Elena Lymberidi-Settimo, Zero Mercury Campaign Project Manager.  “Under the guise of Better Regulation, it is putting the EU on an embarrassing path from hero to zero in addressing the global mercury crisis.  The proposal effectively ignores a public consultation, progressive industry voices, and even the scientific findings of its own impact assessment.”

The package sets out plans to update existing EU law in line with the internationally-agreed goals to limit mercury supply, use and emissions under the treaty. Despite the EU having played a leading role in the formation of the Convention, the new plan to put it into practice appears to have fallen victim to the EU’s Better Regulation agenda. The package was already delayed by over a year – pushing back the UN treaty ratification process [3] – and ambition is thin on the ground.

The new proposals follow the lowest-cost approach across the board rather than promoting higher environmental protection, according to the EEB. Elsewhere, other ‘new’ proposals are simply repackaged existing EU legislation, and some of the treaty requirements seem not to be covered by the proposal at all.

Mercury and its compounds are highly toxic to humans, especially to the developing nervous system. Mercury transforms to neurotoxic methylmercury, which has the capacity to collect in organisms (bioaccumulate) and to concentrate up food chains (biomagnify), especially in the aquatic food chain – fish, the basic food source for millions of people.

Recent studies indicate that mercury levels are increasing in tuna by 4% per year, correlating with the continuing rise in mercury in the global environment. If steps are not taken to reduce global mercury pollution, levels of mercury are expected to double by 2050 [4]. 

The EEB will now be calling on the European Parliament and Member States to recognise the gravity of the situation and adopt measures that will reduce and eliminate all unnecessary uses and releases of mercury.

***

For more information, please contact:

Elena Lymberidi-Settimo, Zero Mercury Campaign Project Manager, +32 (2) 289 13 01, This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

Paul Hallows, Communications Officer, +32 (2) 790 88 17, This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

***

Notes to editors:

[1] Ratification of the Minamata Convention on Mercury by the EU

http://ec.europa.eu/environment/chemicals/mercury/ratification_en.htm

[2] The Minimata Convention on Mercury http://www.mercuryconvention.org

To meet the Convention requirements, six areas are identified which need additional legislation at the EU level:

  • The import of mercury

  • The export of certain mercury added products

  • The use of mercury in certain manufacturing processes

  • New mercury uses in product and manufacturing processes

  • Mercury use in artisanal and small scale gold mining (ASGM)

  • Mercury use in dental amalgams

[3] NGOs Letter to the European Commission - The EU and its Member States should rapidly ratify the Minamata Convention on mercury, 14 December 2015

http://www.zeromercury.org/index.php?option=com_phocadownload&;view=file&id=199:the-european-union-eu-and-its-member-states-ms-should-rapidly-ratify-the&Itemid=15

[4] Over the past year, it has become more apparent than ever that the global mercury crisis is affecting the food we eat.  Mercury concentrations in tuna are increasing at a rate of 3.8 percent or more per year, according to a new study that suggests rising atmospheric levels of the toxin are to blame. This correlates with recent studies showing that mercury levels in the global environment are set to double by 2050, if current pollution and deposition rates continue. More information: http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2015/02/150202151217.htm

Home Press Releases European NGOs call on dentists to ban mercury use on children immediately
European NGOs call on dentists to ban mercury use on children immediately PDF Print
Wednesday, 26 April 2017 13:36

[EEB] - [HEAL]-[HCWH]-[WAMFD]

 

Brussels, 26 April 2017

European NGOs call on dentists to ban mercury use on children immediately

European NGOs are calling on dentists to implement immediately the upcoming ban on mercury dental fillings for children and pregnant women.

Yesterday, the EU Council adopted the revised mercury regulation, including a partial ban on mercury in dentistry on the back of huge support from the European Parliament who voted in favour of the proposals 663 to 8. The proposals, supported by the Parliament, included a partial ban on amalgam in dentistry as it is 50 per cent mercury.

However, the ban on use of amalgam in children under 15, pregnant and breastfeeding women does not come into effect until 1 July 2018.

We are now calling on this ban to be applied by dentists immediately.

“With the ban to protect Europe’s children coming in one year, we call on Europe’s dentists to start observing the ban now,” says Charlie Brown, president of the World Alliance for Mercury-Free Dentistry.  “21st century dentistry is mercury-free dentistry and Europe’s children deserve nothing less.”

“The EU decision for a partial amalgam ban for vulnerable populations acknowledges clearly the environmental danger from the mercury use in dentistry” says Elena Lymberidi-Settimo of the European Environment Bureau.  “Dentists should apply it straight away also to protect children and other vulnerable people. It is positive that there is movement away from mercury in dentistry.  The requested 2020 review on the feasibility of a total ban on mercury by 2030, although quite late, it still sends a clear message that we are heading towards the end of dental mercury.”

“The new law is a wake-up call to the parents of Europe,” says Philippe Vandendaele of Health Care Without Harm Europe.  “Every parent of a child under 15 should, from this day forward, insist on mercury-free dentistry for their child, as should every pregnant and breast-feeding woman.”

“The Member State governments should instruct dentists to stop amalgam use on Europe’s children immediately rather than waiting until July next year. Dentistry is a major source of environmental mercury pollution, which is causing a child brain drain in Europe and elsewhere,” says Génon K. Jensen, Health and Environmental Alliance (HEAL).

For further information:

Elena Lymberidi-Settimo, This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it "> This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it ;

Philippe Vandendaele, This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it "> This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it ;  

Genon Jensen, This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it "> This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it ;

Charlie Brown, This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it "> This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it