Developing National Plans to Phase Down Dental Amalgam Use in the EU Member States

The European Environmental Bureau, the World Alliance for Mercury Free Dentistry, and the European Centre for Environmental Medicine proposed elements to be considered as Member States prepare their national plans towards phasing down/out dental amalgam.

The European Union, through its 2017 mercury regulation, is implementing the Minamata Convention to bring a less toxic environment to every Member State (MS).  A key part of that regulation is the phasing down/out of dental amalgam, which is 50% mercury.

By 1 July 2019 – hence  in three months – each MS shall set out its plan towards phasing down amalgam use.  As you know, since 1 July 2018 there is a virtual ban on amalgam for children below 15 years old, pregnant and breastfeeding women, so we do hope that the plan will include further measures to reduce the use of amalgam. 

Several factors are leading to the demise of amalgam:  Today, the alternative materials are tooth friendly (amalgam is not) and technically equal or better; consumers want mercury-free dentistry and white-colored fillings; younger dentists are trained not to use amalgam, while older dentists likewise realize amalgam’s days are numbered; and the environmental consequences of dental mercury, such as its methylation in fish children  eat, caused the EU scientific committee SCHER to label it a “secondary poisoning”.

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