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.”
But we’re aiming to finish off this primitive, polluting mercury product even sooner – including in the United States. (After all, if we can win in the complicated European Union system, we can win anywhere!)
Today, Consumers for Dental Choice filed a petition that calls on the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to act. It points out that while the European Parliament is taking steps to protect European children from amalgam, FDA’s 2009 amalgam rule fails to protect American children. To solve this problem, our petition urges FDA to follow the European Union’s example: ban amalgam use in children under age 15, pregnant women, and breastfeeding mothers....and then take the lead in championing a mercury-free future!
Now FDA needs to hear from you too! Please sign this online petition* telling FDA to catch up with the European Union. Then share it with your friends, colleagues, patients, and family.
Banning amalgam use in children and pregnant women was the step that led to the ultimate phase out of all amalgam use in Sweden. Now that the European Parliament has taken that first step, there’s no going back in Europe….and if we pull together, we can take this most crucial step in the United States too!
Charles G. Brown
National Counsel, Consumers for Dental Choice
President, World Alliance for Mercury-Free Dentistry
316 F St. NE, Suite 210 Washington, DC 20002 USA
Phone: 202-544-6333 Fax: 202-544-6331