After the ongoing phasing-out of mercury in industrial processes, dental amalgam is expected to become the largest mercury use left in the EU. On 2 February 2016, the European Commission proposed a series of additional provisions to address certain 'regulatory gaps' between EU legislation and the 2013 Minamata Convention. These provisions include restrictions on the use of mercury in dental amalgam:

  • As of 1 January 2019, dental amalgam would only be used in encapsulated form
  • Dental facilities must be equipped with amalgam separators to retain and collect amalgam residues
  • Dental treatment of milk teeth, children under 15 years and pregnant or breastfeeding women will be banned from 1 July 2018 unless there are specific medical needs

Furthermore, the Commission will report by 30 June 2020 on the feasibility of a phase-out of the use of mercury in dental amalgam for a later date, preferably by 2030. In the meantime, member states will prepare national plans to phase down the use of dental amalgam.

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