The children of Europe have won!
The three major institutions that decide regulations for the European Union – the European Parliament, the European Commission, and the Council of the European Union – have reached a provisional agreement to partially ban amalgam use. After an intense negotiating session (known as a trilogue) that went well into the night on December 6-7, these institutions decided that as of 1 July 2018:
- Amalgam use in children under age 15 will be banned.
- Amalgam use in pregnant women will be banned.
- Amalgam use in breastfeeding women will be banned.
Additionally, the agreement requires each Member State to set a national plan by 1 July 2019 on how it will reduce amalgam use and mandates the European Commission to report by mid-2020 on the feasibility of phasing out dental amalgam.
This agreement was negotiated as part of a comprehensive regulation to implement the Minamata Convention on Mercury – showing again that this new mercury treaty is the “game-changer” for mercury-free dentistry worldwide.
All that is left is for the negotiated mercury regulation – with the amalgam agreement tucked inside – to receive final approval from both the European Parliament and the Council of Europe. A “no” vote starts the whole long process of negotiating a mercury regulation all over again ... as the pressure to ratify the Minamata Convention looms. So while a veto by either institution is theoretically possible, it is unlikely under the circumstances.
This progress is the result of six arduous years of Consumers for Dental Choice’s intense engagement in Europe. We allied with major environmental groups, developed a network of NGOs across Europe, testified at one hearing after another, submitted extensive comments in between, organized teams to meet with key government officials, and spearheaded a petition with more than 20,000 signatures.
As we move forward, I make three promises to you:
- We will vigilantly work to see that this regulation is implemented in every nation of the European Union.
- We will continue to work for the full phase out of amalgam in Europe, a step envisioned but not yet mandated in this regulation.
- We will immediately launch a worldwide campaign to end amalgam use in children, pregnant women, and breastfeeding mothers worldwide.
It’s time to end amalgam use for everyone – and like the European Union, we can start by keeping the next generation safe from mercury dental fillings.