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A new Mercury Regulation, repealing and replacing the Export Ban regulation (1102/2008) has been adopted by the European Parliament and the Council on 17 May 2017.

It will enter into force early June 2017 and will, in general, become applicable from 1 January 2018. Accordingly, this page will be updated as sson as the new Mercury Regulation will have been published in the Official Journal of the European Union.

Pending publication, you can find information on the new Mercury Regulation here: press release and questions and answers.

Products containing mercury

There are strict limitations on the use of mercury in products in the EU, covering mainly:

  • Batteries and accumulators - Directive 2008/12/EC in conjunction with Directive 2006/66/EC, see also the Commission webpage on batteries.
  • Electrical and electronic equipment, as required by the RoHS Directive (Directive 2002/95/EC), see also the Commission webpage on RoHS.
  • Measuring devices containing mercury for use by the general public - see Regulation (EC) No 1907/2006 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 18 December 2006 concerning the Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation and Restriction of Chemicals (REACH), as amended by Commission Regulation (EC) No 552/2009.
  • Commission Regulation (EU) No 847/2012 restricts the use of mercury in several measuring devices (e.g. thermometers, sphygmomanometers, barometers) for industrial and professional uses from 10 April 2014.
  • Commission Regulation (EU) No. 848/2012 prohibits the manufacture, use and placement on the market of five phenylmercury compounds from 10 October 2017.

Dental amalgam

Dental amalgam is the second biggest intentional use of mercury in the EU. The Commission has investigated its use and potential health impacts as well as possible alternative tooth fillings.

The Committee for Environmental and Health Risks (SCHER) and the Committee for Emerging and Newly Identified Health Risks (SCENIHR) both issued a first opinion in 2008.

In its "Review of the Community Strategy Concerning Mercury" in 2010, the Commission identified the need to further investigate the issue. Accordingly, the SCENIHR and SCHER have updated their opinions on the basis of the new information made available. The opinions formulated clearly indicate that significant negative impacts of dental amalgam on health are not proven, but there may be situations where the release of dental amalgam to water induces increased pollution endangering the quality of water.

Accordingly, in its Proposal for a Regulation on Mercury, the European Commission addresses the issue of dental amalgam, by restricting its use to its encapsulated form and by requiring the use of separators by dentists.

For more information: