The European Parliament has today approved new legislation on the regulation of mercury. The new law will reduce the trade and use of mercury, the risk of contamination, and bring legislation in line with the Minamata Convention on Mercury signed in 2013.
Commenting after the vote, Green member of the environment committee Bas Eickhout said:
"This new legislation is a big victory for public health and the environment. The European Parliament has dramatically improved the Commission’s original proposal, significantly reducing the risks posed to citizens and protecting our environment from contamination. While we weren’t able to secure our original goal of a complete EU ban on mercury use in dentistry by the end of 2022, we have secured protections for vulnerable groups such as children and breast-feeding women. Further, the European Commission is required to assess the feasibility of a complete phase out of dental amalgam by 2030.
“We have also put an end to the hazardous temporary storage of liquid mercury underground. There are thousands of tonnes of this highly toxic material due to be disposed of in the coming years and it would have been highly irresponsible to store it underground."