Sweden will ban all use
of mercury on 1 June 2009
On 15 January 2009, the
Swedish government made a decision to ban mercury and articles
that contain mercury. The ban will take effect on 1 June 2009.
It will not be allowed
to place articles that contain mercury on the Swedish market
or professionally export articles containing mercury from
Sweden. The ban on use does not apply to mercury-containing
articles that have already been taken into use. In practice
this means that alternative techniques will have to be used
in dental care, chemical analysis and the chloralkali industry.
Certain uses for which
harmonised EC provisions apply are exempted. Light sources
and other electrical and electronic articles, batteries and
vehicles, for example. The Swedish Chemicals Agency's (KemI)
regulations will specify certain time-limited exemptions for
analysis chemicals, certain instruments and equipment and
certain amalgam use. KemI may also grant exemption in particular
Mercury is one of the most hazardous environmental toxins
and can be a threat to both human health and the environment.
Similar to other metals, mercury does not degrade but instead
accumulates in soil, water and living organisms.
Since the 1990s, Sweden has been forbidden to manufacture
and use thermometers, measuring instruments and certain electrical
components containing mercury.
In new EU regulations
(Regulation (EC) No 1102/2008), Member States have decided
not to export liquid mercury, certain mercury compounds and
mixtures to countries outside the EU, and the regulation will
enter into force on 15 March 2011.
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