New Minamata Convention Amendment Shields Most Vulnerable Against Amalgam Use

April 04, 2022

Provision Calls for Ending the Use of Dental Amalgam in Children and Women Who Are Pregnant or Breastfeeding 


The Minamata Convention on Mercury was assembled in 2013 to produce a global agreement on controlling sources of environmental mercury. Since its inception, the international group has put together a ban on new mercury mines and made plans to phase-out and phase-down the use of mercury in many products and processes. The convention has also proposed ways to control mercury emissions which are discharged into the air and released onto land and in water. Last month, the group’s members unanimously decided to amend their treaty to include a sweeping call for ending mercury amalgam use in dentistry for children and for women who are pregnant or breastfeeding. The individuals advocating for this important amendment were successful at convincing convention members that mercury-free alternatives to amalgam are feasible and readily available. Most importantly, they demonstrated that mercury is not safe in the mouths of children or in the mouths of expectant or breastfeeding mothers. This is a fact recognized by numerous environmental groups, including the Children’s Environmental Health Network, which reports that infants, children and pregnant women are most vulnerable to the negative effects of mercury. This new Minamata Convention amendment goes into effect on December 25, 2022.  


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