12/10/2008

Assessment Highlights Mercury-Free Alternatives

There are alternatives to mercury, according to a preliminary assessment of the
uses of elemental mercury in a number of products. The U.S. Environmental
Protection Agency has concluded that switches, relays, button cell batteries,
non-fever thermometers, and measuring devices, such as thermostats, don't have
to contain mercury.

Under the Chemical Assessment and Management Program, EPA evaluated the use of
elemental mercury in certain products and the availability of effective,
economical mercury-free alternatives. The assessment determined that the use of
mercury in certain products poses a "high-priority, special concern." The
agency plans to take prompt regulatory and voluntary action to encourage the
use of mercury-free alternatives and reduce the use of mercury in products.

EPA has also developed a searchable database that pulls together publicly
available information from various sources to help identify consumer and
commercial products that contain mercury and their possible non-mercury
alternatives. EPA encourages people to use non-mercury alternatives whenever
possible as an important way to prevent exposure to mercury, including exposure
due to breakage.


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AplusA-online.de - Source: Environmental Protection