In the report of 17.08.2020 to the Parliament and Council, the European Commission concluded that a phase out of dental amalgam in Europe is “technically and economically” feasible before 2030 and announced to present a legislative proposal in 2022. With this report, the Commission has fulfilled its requirement of the Mercury Regulation, which was negotiated in 2016.
Since the use of mercury in dental amalgam is the largest use of mercury in the Union and a significant source of pollution the Commission was mandated to assess and report by july 2020 on the feasibility of a phase out of the use of dental amalgam in the long term, and preferably by 2030 and if appropriate, present a legislative proposal.

In concluding that the end of amlagam is “technically and economically feasible,” the Commission explains in its report:

  • The alternatives are fully acceptable, and dentists fully trained to put them in, quoting: “Mercury free materials are nowadays of good quality, effective restoration methods are widely available and dental schools are increasingly teaching the necessary skills”.
  • The risk from BPA (present in some but not all composite) is “negligible’;
  • The price differential has shrunk so much such that neither patients nor dentists, will be adversely affected by the phase out;
  • 95% of amalgam manufacturers also make alternatives hence they are fully prepared to switch;

For the Report the Commission contracted a consultant to perform a study on the use of dental amalgam in the EU. The final report of the study provided the basis for the assessment of the technical and economic feasibility of a phase out of dental amalgam and documented its environmental implications.

The study collected information on the use of dental amalgam and mercury-free alternatives, implications for the organisation of health services in Member States and dental amalgam phase down plans established by Member States under the Regulation. Extensive data collection included the review of scientific articles and reports, EU-wide data collection through an online survey and interviews. A workshop gathering experts from Member States and stakeholders (dentistry organisations, NGOs) organised in January 2020 validated the preliminary findings of the study, whilst providing additional input to improve the modelling and conclusions.