All nations under European Union have voted for phase out amalgam through a public consultative process. In an online voting process 88% of respondents voted to phase out amalgam, that’s 3162 out of 3586 voters. The result has announced on May 8, 2015, in the EU website.
Charlie Brown, President World Alliance for Mercury-Free Dentistry, in a massage expressed his gratitude and congratulate to all European friends who voted and to everyone around the world who helped get out the vote! He said, over the past four years, by the support from Consumers for Dental Choice World Alliance for Mercury-Free Dentistry has worked closely with our European allies to put in place the building blocks that led to this vote:
- The scientific backing:The EU governments’ scientific committees agree that amalgam in the environment can pose a risk while mercury-free fillings are safe.
- The policy edge: The European Commission hired an independent consultant to examine all the policy options for dealing with amalgam. After an intense study, a round of public hearings, and substantial public input, that independent consultant urged the EU to “ban the use of mercury in dentistry.”
- The public support:The consultant, the governments, and the scientists had their turn. Then the matter was put before the citizenry… and Europeans overwhelmingly want to phase out amalgam use!
Charlie said, we’ve still got a lot of hard work ahead in the EU to make sure that the government responds to the voice of the people. But all options other than phasing out amalgam are slowly exiting the stage.
He mentation, as the EU moves forward toward mercury-free dentistry, the United States government is no doubt taking note… and seeing itself fall behind. If the United States intends to regain the lead on mercury issues, now is the time to act.
- Dental amalgamThere is an ongoing debate in the EU concerning dental amalgam which features among the products targeted by the Convention. The Convention proposes a list of measures to be taken by the Parties in order to phase down its use, e.g. by:
- setting national objectives for preventing tooth decay;
- setting national objectives for minimising the use of mercury;
- promoting the use of mercury-free alternatives;
- promoting research on mercury-free fillings;
- education and training of dental professionals;
- insurance policies that do not favour dental amalgam use;
- insurance policies that favour the use of alternatives;
- restricting amalgam use only to its encapsulated form;
- best environmental practices in dental facilities.
Within the EU, dental amalgam is one of the main remaining uses of mercury in products. As a follow-up to the Mercury Strategy Review, the Commission has carried out, in 2012, an extensive study on the issue, which estimated the annual consumption of mercury for dental amalgam at 75 tonnes. Additionally, the Commission is currently consulting two independent scientific committees, the Scientific Committee for Health and Environmental Risks (SCHER) and the Scientific Committee for Emerging and Newly Identified Health Risks (SCENIHR). A public consultation on the SCHER opinion was organised from 25 September to 20 November 2013 (including a hearing on 6 November 2013). The SCENIHR opinion will probably be issued in September 2014 and a dedicated public consultation, including a hearing, will be organised before its finalisation. The outcome of that process will also be taken into account by the Commission before concluding on the appropriateness of any next steps.
 Bio Intelligence Service (2012), Study on the potential for reducing mercury from dental amalgam and batteries, Final report prepared for the European Commission – DG ENV