The end of the toxic tooth filling era in the EU

Today, the European Union confirms its willingness to lead by example in tackling mercury pollution from dental amalgam, a substance also known as “silver-filling” due to its appearance.  

The EU has finally decided to tackle the largest remaining EU mercury application: dental amalgam, where mercury makes up 50% of its composition. In 2018, dental amalgam became prohibited for children under 15 years old and pregnant or breastfeeding women. Today, the EU decided to end the dental amalgam era for all by 1st January 2025. 

“After over a decade of discussions, the ban has finally been agreed on. It is the start of a new era – where mercury free dentistry will be the rule and not the exception, and all will have a right to it,” says Charline Cheuvart, EEB Policy officer for mercury. 

A few countries will be allowed to use dental amalgam until June 2026, to allow them to adapt their insurance policy, but this transition caveat should not prevent effective implementation of the new law. 

We also welcome the decision to prohibit the export of dental amalgam from 1 January 2025 and the manufacturing and import into the EU from 1 July 2026.  

“Such decisions are expected to serve as examples for many other countries around the world and drive faster change. They can raise expectations on discussions during the sixth Conference of Parties of the Minamata Convention in 2025, towards a global dental amalgam ban,” continues Charline Cheuvart, EEB Policy officer for mercury. 

EU Toxic lamps will no longer reach developing countries 

The EU will stop exporting mercury added lamps, which are already domestically prohibited, by June 2026. Such measures will not only put an end to the unjust exports to low- and middle-income countries, but they will also secure bigger climate mitigation benefits thanks to mercury free and energy-efficient alternatives.  

 “We greatly welcome the EU deciding to take a leading seat, banning its exports earlier than the global ban agreed by the Parties of the Minamata Convention. It sends a clear message that the EU wants to put an end to double standards and places global environment and health benefits above profit,” says Elena Lymberidi-Settimo, EEB Policy Manager. 

Regulation scope widened  

We further welcome the EU decision widening the scope to include follow up work on mercury emissions from crematoria, mercury compounds, as well as an assessment on the need to phase out remaining uses and expand the list of mercury waste sources, though these could have taken place sooner than 2029.  



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Further reading   

Mercury is a well-known global pollutant and a severe neurotoxin, which can cause environmental harm and severely affect people’s health. Diffuse pollution remains a problem in Europe because of both historical and current emissions of mercury to the atmosphere. Mercury levels measured in biota continue to exceed environmental quality standards in almost all surface water bodies. 

The end of the toxic tooth filling era in the EU
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