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Parliamentary questions
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4 December 2018
Answer given by Mr Vella on behalf of the European Commission
Question reference: E-005357/2018

Dental amalgam is the largest remaining use of mercury in the European Union, causing significant pollution: it is therefore addressed in Regulation (EU) 2017/852 implementing the Minamata Convention on mercury(1).

Article 10(2) of the regulation prohibits, since 1 July 2018, the use of dental amalgam in treatment of deciduous teeth and in the dental treatment of vulnerable populations (i.e. children under 15 years, pregnant and breastfeeding women).

In addition, its Article 19(1)(b) obliges the Commission to report to the European Parliament and to the Council on the outcome of its assessment regarding ‘the feasibility of a phase-out of the use of dental amalgam in the long term, and preferably by 2030, taking into account the national plans referred to in Article 10(3) and whilst fully respecting Member States’ competence for the organisation and delivery of health services and medical care’. This assessment is currently ongoing.

Concerning the protection of dental practitioners and patients, Article 10(1) of the regulation provides for the mandatory use, as from 1 January 2019, of pre-dosed encapsulated dental amalgam as a means to prevent exposure to mercury. Additionally, in line with Article 10(4), ‘From 1 January 2019, operators of dental facilities in which dental amalgam is used or dental amalgam fillings or teeth containing such fillings are removed, shall ensure that their facilities are equipped with amalgam separators for the retention and collection of amalgam particles, including those contained in used water’.

(1)OJ L 137, 24.5.2017, p. 1‐21.

Last updated: 4 December 2018Legal notice