We’ve reached another landmark in the march toward mercury-free dentistry for Europe. Just hours ago, the European Parliament's Environment Committee voted overwhelmingly to phase out all amalgam use by December 31, 2022.
Of course, this development did not happen overnight. Consumers for Dental Choice and our strong European allies have been putting the building blocks in place for years:
- In 2012, the independent consultant hired by the European Commission (EC) urged the EU to “ban the use of mercury in dentistry.”
- In 2013, dental manufacturers devoted an entire day to “The Demise of Amalgam Use” at the European Dental Materials Conference.
- In 2014, the EC’s scientific committee on environment confirmed that amalgam can convert to even more toxic methylmercury in the environment, creating “a risk for secondary poisoning.”
- In early 2015, the EC’s scientific committee on health recommended mercury-free fillings for “primary teeth in children and for pregnant patients.”
- In late 2015, the EC’s online public consultation asked EU citizens: should amalgam use be phased down…or phased out? 88% of respondents – including many of you! – voted to phase out amalgam use.
I want to thank the many European organizations and experts who have devoted countless hours to participating in strategy meetings, building a united front, submitting key studies, delivering targeted comments, organizing sign-on letters, and following up to make sure that our voice is heard in Europe. We would not be where we are today without this amazing team.
But now is not the time to rest on our laurels. We’ve got at least two more stages to go in the EU’s multi-layered regulatory process. And the Council of European Dentists is determined to crush the movement for mercury-free dentistry in Europe before the 2022 phase-out becomes the law of the land.
So if you are in Europe, please check our emails, Facebook, and Twitter regularly for action alerts. It is more critical than ever that we have all hands on deck as we move into the next stage.