In a landmark decision, the European Parliament passed a partial ban on metal amalgam fillings in children, pregnant women, and nursing mothers. The ban follows an agreement in principle established in December 2016 and is in keeping with the global signing of the Minamata Convention on Mercury that seeks to reduce the use of mercury worldwide, including, hopefully, the end of metal fillings.
Partial Ban in Effect
The passage of the partial ban by the European Parliament comes after the European Parliament reached an agreement with the European Council on the matter. The European Council is not a formal legislative body, but because it consists of the heads of state from each member state, it has considerable influence over the progress of legislation. Once the two bodies agreed in principle on the ban, the way was clear for the Parliament to approve it.
The ban states that metal amalgam fillings should not be used in:
- Children 15 and under
- Pregnant women
- Nursing mothers
As a result, the ban seeks to significantly reduce the amount of metal amalgam fillings used and to reduce people’s lifetime exposure to toxic mercury.
As part of the agreement, all EU member countries have to come up with national plans to comply with the EU ban and reduce overall amalgam use. In addition, the European Commission, which sets off all legislation in the EU, is supposed to come with a plan by 2020 to completely phase out metal amalgam by 2030, if practicable.
Of course, one EU member state–Sweden–has already phased out metal amalgam use. Many other member states have restrictions on its use, including: Denmark, Finland, the Netherlands, Germany, Spain, Italy, and Austria.
The Minamata Convention
The EU’s decision to implement the partial ban on metal amalgam follows a larger commitment to the worldwide Minamata Convention. In the Minamata Convention, signatories agree to reduce the use of mercury for any reason, including the use of metal amalgam fillings.
The convention is named after the town of Minamata, which dramatically demonstrated the toxic effects of mercury poisoning, which included involuntary muscle movements, numbness, loss of senses, insanity, paralysis, and death. Now that we know that mercury in metal amalgam fillings doesn’t stay put, but can travel through the body and even from the body into the environment, this is a good name for the convention.
The convention has 128 signing countries, and a total of 42 parties who have ratified the agreement.
Are You Ready to Get Rid of Toxic Fillings?
For a century and a half, dentists thought that mercury amalgam fillings were a good solution to treating cavities, but the truth is that these fillings are a source of toxin in your body. We are not entirely certain of the effects of these fillings, but it is prudent to have them removed.
If you are looking for an Anchorage dentist who can remove your metal amalgam fillings and replace them with attractive and healthy tooth-colored fillings, please call (907) 349-0022 at Excellence in Dentistry.