S&Ds achieve ban on mercury fillings for pregnant women and children

mercury children

The Socialists and Democrats are proud to have achieved a ban on the use of amalgam in vulnerable populations. The resolution voted today in the plenary in Strasbourg constitutes a victory for the entire European Parliament as it prohibits the use of dental amalgam and imposes strict limitations on a range of exports and industrial processes.
Mercury is a dangerous chemical and exposure to it can cause severe health problems. This is why S&D MEPs have also pushed for a complete phase-out of all dental amalgam in all member states.

S&D Group negotiator on the Mercury resolution, Massimo Paolucci MEP, said:

"Less mercury, less pollution, more health at last. Yet there is more to be done. We want the Commission and the member states to accept a total ban on dental amalgam in a reasonable timeframe. I am proud of the work done on the new Mercury Regulation. Now it is time to proceed as soon as possible with the ratification of the Minamata Convention.”

Background information on Mercury and the Minamata Convention:

Mercury:

•    is a chemical element (Hg) known as quicksilver and formerly named hydrargyrum;
•    is one of the top ten chemicals classified by the World Health Organisation as a major public health concern;
•    is used in thermometers, barometers, sphygmomanometers, fluorescent lamps etc.;
•    due to its toxicity it has been largely phased out in mercury thermometers and sphygmomanometers, but remains in use in scientific research applications and in dental amalgam;
•    exposure to water-soluble forms of mercury can cause poisoning by inhalation of mercury vapour, or by ingesting any form thereof

The Minamata Convention on Mercury:

•    is an international treaty aimed at protecting human health and the environment from the adverse effects of mercury;
•    was agreed in January 2013 in Geneva and was adopted on 10 October 2013 in Japan;
•    aims to control the anthropogenic releases of mercury throughout its lifecycle;
•    More specifically, it bans new mercury mines and foresees the phasing-out of existing ones; provides for the minimisation and phasing-out of mercury use in a series of products and processes; and imposes emission and release control measures while also addressing storage and disposal issues;
•     128 countries have signed the Convention but only 38 have ratified it until now;
•    the EU and all member states, excluding Portugal and Estonia, have signed the Convention