Dentistry may not be the first use of mercury that comes to mind when considering this heavy metal. Nevertheless the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) Global Mercury Assessment 2013 revealed that mercury in dental use accounted globally for 270-341 metric tons in 2010 (AMAP/UNEP 2013).
Due to growing concern regarding impacts of mercury on the environment, governments decided to negotiate a legally binding instrument on mercury, and the text of the Minamata Convention on Mercury was completed and adopted in 2013.
One of the key provisions of the Minamata Convention is the requirement for countries to phase down their use of dental amalgam. Based on official country responses to a UNEP survey questionnaire, this report presents a range of measures already taken by some countries in pursuit of their objectives to phase down or entirely eliminate the use of dental amalgam. It is intended that these examples may inspire and instruct other countries’ efforts to implement this provision of the Minamata Convention.