The EU Parliament has given the green light for a comprehensive ban on dental fillings containing mercury from 2025. A majority of MPs in Brussels voted for the project, as Parliament announced.

The aim is to protect health and the environment from the harmful effects of mercury. There should be exceptions if a dentist considers such a filling to be absolutely necessary due to the patient’s medical needs.

Inhaling mercury vapor can cause permanent damage to the brain, lungs, kidneys and immune system. In the past, the heavy metal was used, for example, in batteries, thermometers and fluorescent tubes.

Despite less harmful alternatives, around 40 tonnes of mercury are still used for dental amalgam in the EU every year, according to Parliament. Current regulations would only ban such fillings for children under 15 and pregnant and breastfeeding women.

Representatives of Parliament and the EU states had already agreed in principle on the new requirements, but both institutions must formally approve the deal. This has now happened on the part of Parliament. The fact that the EU states also agree is considered a formality. The agreement is based on a proposal from the EU Commission.