EU mercury strategy - MEPs want an export ban by 2010

Pressmeddelande   •   Mar 14, 2006 17:10 CET

Parliament adopted an own-initiative report on the EU's future approach to the hazards of mercury. Parliament says it is "an economic, political and moral imperative" for the EU to take the lead in dealing with global mercury problems.

While welcoming the Commission's strategy on mercury, MEPs want the EU to take a series of specific measures to tackle the problems caused by the substance, of which the EU is the world's largest exporter. They want an export ban in place by 2010 at the latest and for measures to enforce safe storage of mercury produced by the chlor-alkali industry. The report says the Commission should apply the 'polluter pays' principle, in particular when it comes to the costs of storage.

MEPs recommend that compensation should be offered to the Almadén area in Spain, to tackle the environmental and social problems arising from the closure of the long established mercury mines there.

Parliament also wants to establish emission limit values for mercury released through burning coal, and restrictions on the use of mercury in measuring and control equipment. Among other points, they call for the issue of mercury use in vaccine production to be addressed and for information campaigns to increase awareness of the risks associated with mercury.

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