Dental Mercury Use Banned in Norway, Sweden and Denmark Because Composites Are Adequate...

Thu Jan 3, 2008 8:13am EST

* Reuters is not responsible for the content in this press release.

Dental Mercury Use Banned in Norway, Sweden and Denmark Because Composites Are
Adequate Replacements

OSLO, Norway, Jan. 3 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ --Norway recently announced a ban
on the use of mercury, including dental amalgam, that took effect on January
1, 2008.   Sweden announced a similar ban and dentists in Denmark will no
longer be allowed to use mercury in fillings after April 1, 2008.

"These bans clearly indicate that amalgam is no longer needed.   There are
viable non-mercury filling substitutes that are used everyday in the US," said
Michael Bender, director of the Mercury Policy Project.  "By eliminating
amalgam use, which is 50% mercury, we can reduce mercury pollution much more
efficiently than end-of-the-pipeline solutions."
In a prepared statement, Norwegian Minister of the Environment Erik Solheim
said that the reason for the ban is the risk that mercury from products may
constitute in the environment.   "Mercury is among the most dangerous
environmental toxins. Satisfactory alternatives to mercury in products are
available, and it is therefore fitting to introduce a ban," said Solheim. 

The Swedish amalgam ban is for both environmental and health issues, according
to authorities.  Danish officials indicate that the reason for banning amalgam
is also because composites have become better, and may now be used in many
more situations than a few years ago.  

Teeth will have to be mended with e.g. plastic or ceramics. Exceptions to use
amalgam may be granted for a certain period after the ban, if dentists apply
for it.

"Composite fillings have now become so strong that the Danish National Board
of Health says that we can expand the ban to also include amalgam fillings,"
said the (Danish) Minister of Health Jakob Axel Nielsen to "TV Avisen".
Authorities note that when the ban takes effect in Denmark in four months
time, the present subsidy for amalgam will be changed so that it will instead
cover dental fillings of composite material.  
Since the health insurance stopped paying for amalgam restorations in Sweden
in 1999, the use has decreased markedly and is now estimated to be 2-5% of all
More  information:
    Norwegian Ministry of the Environment
    Deputy Director General Anne Beate Tangen
    Phone: +47 2224 6033
    Fax: +47 2224 9563

Norwegian press release:

Norwegian Mercury Ban Regulation:

Danish Television link:

Danish Radio link:

Swedish links:
Also see:

SOURCE  Mercury Policy Project

Michael Bender of Mercury Policy Project, +1-802-223-9000
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