Amalgam fillings face ban across Europe
Amalgam dental fillings – which contain mercury – are expected to be phased out across Europe in the next few years.
The European Parliament is likely to opt for a complete ban by 2013, which will come into affect by 2018, following a damning report by a European Commission agency.
Although the Bio-Intelligence Service (BIS) is recommending the ban primarily on environmental grounds, it has highlighted a range of health problems the fillings cause. These range from allergies, neurological diseases, kidney diseases, autism, autoimmune diseases and birth defects. Pregnant women and children are especially susceptible to amalgam’s health threats, it says.
Despite the levels of mercury in fish we eat and in the enviornment, dental amalgam is “by far the main source” of our total mercury load, the report’s authors continue.
Its conclusions are a severe embarrassment to dental groups such as the British Dental Association which for years has maintained that amalgam fillings are safe.
Despite its assurances, Sweden and Denmark introduced a blanket ban on the use of dental amalgam in 2008, while Austrian and German dentists do not use it in children, pregnant women and people with kidney problems. Norway, not an EU member state, also banned it in 2008.
(Source: Study on the Potential for Reducing Mercury Pollution from Dental Amalgam and Batteries, European Commission Bio-Intelligence Service, July 2012).