NRDC is Working to Reduce Mercury Pollution
In addition to our vigorous support for US EPA standards to reduce mercury from power plants, boilers, cement kilns and many other industrial sources, our mercury reduction campaign has been focused for the past ten years on eliminating mercury from products and reducing mercury contamination in waste streams.
NRDC serves on the Steering Committee of the Multi-State Mercury Products Campaign, which has successfully promoted collection of products containing mercury at the end of their useful life, particularly thermostats, auto switches, and lamps. We have also worked with allies to ban mercury from consumer products like batteries, thermometers, thermostats and switches. Click on the map below to see if your state has adopted these rules.
In all, 12 states (New York, California, Wisconsin, Illinois, Louisiana, Minnesota, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Maine, Vermont, and New Hampshire) now prohibit the sale of mercury-added switches, relays, and measuring devices. Additional states have passed laws prohibiting the sale of mercury-added thermostats and/or one or more kinds of measuring devices, and all battery manufacturers in the US have now committed to produce mercury free batteries. Building on these successes and the Mercury Export Ban Act of 2008 we are working on a federal bill which would phase out mercury in these products throughout the United States.
Additional work at the national level includes:
- Controlling mercury discharges from dental facilities; and
- Promoting the phase out of mercury use in "chlor-alkali" chemical plants. With only two plants left in the US using this outdated process, we are close to achieving this goal.
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