Battery industry continues mercury elimination
Rosslyn, VA— The United
States battery industry is announcing a commitment to eliminate
added mercury from button cell batteries by June 2011.
The battery industry has a record
of reducing the environmental impact of batteries. It voluntarily
eliminated mercury, which had been used as an additive to reduce
gassing and leakage, from standard size alkaline and carbon zinc
batteries in the 1990s. At that time, the technology was not available
to do the same for smaller button cell batteries, which are used
in watches and hearing aids. The button cells are the only batteries
that continue to contain small amounts of mercury.
The battery industry has been
working diligently to eliminate mercury from all types of batteries.
The industry has made substantial progress, achieving the following
• Manufacturers discontinued
production of mercuric oxide batteries and replaced them with
new and improved battery systems containing far less mercury.
• By the early part of
this decade, the industry had lowered the amount of mercury
in button cells to quantities well below historical levels and
those sanctioned by federal laws. The 1996 Mercury-Containing
and Rechargeable Battery Management Act restrict the addition
of mercury to a maximum of 25 mg per button cell. By 2002, the
industry average was less than half of this value.