Zero pollution: Commission seeks views on review of EU rules on use of mercury

Today, the Commission is launching an open public consultation on the review of the Mercury Regulation, which tackles the last remaining intentional uses of this very toxic chemical in products. The EU has policies to reduce the risk of mercury exposure for both people and the environment, with legislation covering all aspects of the mercury lifecycle.  But significant amounts of mercury are still used in the EU, mainly in dental amalgam and some products such as lamps or measuring devices. As mercury pollution is persistent, such continued use contributes to its accumulation in the environment, including food. The review of the current rules will contribute to the Zero Pollution ambition for a toxic-free environment announced in the European Green Deal. Commissioner for Environment, Oceans and Fisheries Virginijus Sinkevičius said: “Mercury is a major risk to the environment and human health, and in the EU we have come a long way in limiting it. But risks are still present today. We now need to look at the remaining uses of mercury in the EU, such as dental amalgam, as well as the export of mercury-added products. We are committed to zero pollution and are showing it on all fronts.” With this consultation, the Commission invites citizens and interested parties to express views that will help assess impacts related to the possible phase-out of dental amalgam and the availability and cost of mercury-free alternatives. The consultation will also look at the prohibition of production in the EU and export of certain mercury-added products that are already banned from being placed on the EU market. The public consultation will provide insight for the ongoing work on an impact assessment. The consultation will run until 3 May 2022 and is available here, more information is available in the News item.