By an overwhelming 663 to 8, the European Parliament voted last week for a comprehensive package to reduce mercury use, as required by the Minamata Convention on Mercury. Under this new European Union regulation:
- Amalgam use in children under age 15 will be banned on 1 July 2018.
- Amalgam use in pregnant women will be banned on 1 July 2018.
- Amalgam use in breastfeeding mothers will be banned on 1 July 2018.
- Each country in the European Union will be required to develop a national plan by 1 July 2019, laying out how it will reduce its amalgam use.
- The European Commission must decide by mid-2020 whether to move forward with plans to phase out dental amalgam completely in the European Union.
This progress is the result of our team’s seven years of toil: building a united European coalition...meeting after meeting with government officials...submitting comments to one scientific committee after another...presenting testimony at a half dozen public hearings...organizing the grassroots... finding the right experts...and collecting signatures for petitions.
When we started, the European Union was the largest user of amalgam in the world – but that will change dramatically when this new regulation goes into effect in 2018. As the European Parliament explains in its press release, this new regulation “aims to phase out the use of mercury in dental amalgam by 2030.”