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Figure 1. Anticipated and actual decline in mercury levels within battery waste not undertaken: consequently, the 2000 analysis was taken early in the year and therefore shown at a mid point between 1999 and 2000).

In order to ensure that the mercury concentration of primary batteries will indeed fall to background, one must ensure that the european market is closed to the importation of batteries containing levels above background. The European Battery Directive, 91/157/EEC, still allowed for batteries containing up to 250 parts per million of mercury to be sold. The battery industry petitioned the European Parliament to close this loophole. In response, they introduced a technical adaptation, 98/101/EEC, which prevented the addition of any mercury in primary general purpose batteries sold in Europe.

The battery industry in Europe has also added additional insurance to ensure that primary batteries manufactured with no added mercury can indeed be recycled without the need to allow for high cost mercury capture and treatment facilities. This has been done by introducing an invisible ink, only visible under ultra violet light, into the labels of all alkaline cylindrical batteries sold in Europe. This allows rapid and extremely accurate sorting of mercury free batteries out from the remainder.

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DIY Battery Repair

DIY Battery Repair

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