• Sweden edition
 
Sweden may be forced to lift ban on mercury

Sweden may be forced to lift ban on mercury

Published: 21 Apr 2012 10:00 GMT+02:00
Updated: 21 Apr 2012 10:00 GMT+02:00

“Frankly I’m incredibly irritated by this. We’re running global negotiations to phase out mercury all over the world. Sweden is very active in these negotiations, with the support of the EU commission. Because it’s a highly dangerous environmental toxin,” Minister for the Environment Lena Ek told Sveriges Radio (SR).

Mercury was banned in Sweden in 2009. The rest of the European Union is trying to move toward a similar ban, but Belgium is blocking a ban, citing the need for mercury in certain measuring instruments, reported SR.

This means that Sweden must now open its market for certain products that contain mercury.

“The fact that the commission is unable to keep it together, that EU regulations are worse than the tough demands we’re making in global negotiations – it’s just crazy,” said Ek.

Sweden is now considering demanding a national exception, by means of EU:s environmental guarantee.

This has been done once before, for the wood preservative creosote.

“Sweden is going to stand by its ban, so if need be we’ll take the conflict with the commission,” said Ek.

TT/Clara Guibourg (news@thelocal.se)

Your comments about this article

11:12 April 21, 2012 by Finnish guy
Don't people in Sweden use (compact) fluorescent lamps? They contain small amounts of mercury...
12:12 April 21, 2012 by Dr. Dillner
Hg is a must in laboratory-grade thermometers! What? they do not teach chemistry in Sweden?
12:26 April 21, 2012 by J Jack
Give way to development, come to Mamma. Can they raise the speed limit to allow for my instrumentation?
13:52 April 21, 2012 by Attestupa
Mercury is one of the 92 stable elements that make up the fabric of the world in which we live, indeed it makes up the fabric of the whole universe that we live in. No one can "phase out mercury all over the world". It's just not possible. What can be done however is to control the use of mercury and its many compounds so that it is not an environmental hazard and yet it can be used for the benefit of mankind in unique and essential applications. We are shooting ourselves in the foot if we begin to eliminate elements from the periodic table. What next ? Arsenic ? Beryllium ? Thallium ? Cadmium ? Chromium ? Lead ? Fluorine ? Cobalt ?
14:07 April 21, 2012 by Keith #5083
There are many ways to 'effect a ban'. A simple law is just one way.

One can, however, install such a maze of bureaucratic red tape covering such things as:

a licence to purchase

a precise record of the geographic location and useage

a licence to dispose,including all necessary fulfillment of miljo regulations.

An annual report as to the condition of the mercury containing instrument,including,if necessary,independant testing and approval.

All the costs for these things being born by the purchaser/owner of the mercury containing instrument.

There is no better way to educate people into finding alternative instrumentation than cost and red tape factors.
16:10 April 21, 2012 by Frobobbles
I love to play with mercury. It makes such funny little balls.
19:49 April 21, 2012 by lighthouse
As "Finnish guy" commented,

Swedish Government already likes CFLs with their mercury

- even though the same Lena Ek talked about the

"Acute Crisis" of dumped CFL mercury recently !! =

http://dunday.com/2011/12/swedish-environment-minister-acute.html
02:45 April 22, 2012 by rolfkrohna
No wonder they now call Sweden "NorthKorea of EU", they want to do everything their own way, no respect to anyone else, especially not to their own population.
08:38 April 22, 2012 by Ann-Britt Axelsdotter
Lena Ek shows high levels of hipocrisy. Former Minister for the Environment Andreas Carlgren and representatives from the Swedish Institute for Infectious Disease Control had no problems to order mass inoculation of Pandemrix to stop the swine flu during 2009-2010. Pandemrix contained mercury. Several Ministers, doctors and professors widely declared that injecting mercury was

to be compared to eat fish which in my world is a infantile way to fool the sheeples.

The ban implemented with one hand at same time as the other decides about injecting mercury which is a neuro toxin proves my statement.

Trim ones sails to every wind is typical when it comes to meet the interests behind certain actions. Is it Lena Eks mission to heal some of the damaged caused?
11:00 April 22, 2012 by rumcajs
@rolfkrohna

Mercury is toxic and MOST of NECESARY things made with mercury have also a "safe" way to be made.

All goverments of almost every single country on earth have at some point shown "no respect to anyone else, especially not to their own population" in matters that affect that population in a muuuuch bigger extend than the mercury thing in Sweden and you compare SE with North Korea?
17:00 April 22, 2012 by Lavaux
@ Attestupa

You are wise. You have just succinctly described one of the ways the environmentalists have gone too far. The very idea that a state or consortium of states can selectively ban elements of the periodic table to protect the environment is essentially bizarre because that's where they come from.

So in view of your wisdom, maybe you can tell me if and when this green tyranny will end? They seek to ban carbon even though that's what we're made of, what we emit when we exhale, and what fuels our biological machinery. Do they seek to ban us from existence? I don't get it. Maybe you do.
19:10 April 22, 2012 by BritVik
If Sweden wished to continue with its (half-measure) ban on mercury, then it should do as the French, ignore their rulings. The eurocrats in Brussels are far too big for their euroboots as it is.

As to comparing Sweden with the 'slightly communistic' state of North Korea, then rolfkrohna is perhaps talking out of the back of his neck.
21:42 April 22, 2012 by planet.sweden
Banned? Intriguing, so does anyone know what's in all those Clas Ohlson outdoor termometrars every one sticks on their windows?
00:32 April 23, 2012 by Augusto Aldeghi
I do not want to say anything about Mercury, I do not know the terms of the issue enough to express a well thought off opinion.

What i REALLY REALLY REALLY appreciate is that, sometimes, when a regulation or a a choice required by EU is in clear contrast with national interest and more advanced regulations, the answer is "WHO CARES"
09:42 April 24, 2012 by Marc the Texan
The EU has proven itself to be colossal failed experiment. Sweden would do well to unhitch from the Eureoeos.
Today's headlines
Elections 2014
Six big headaches for Stefan Löfven
Stefan Löfven: a man with a lot on his plate. Photo: Sören Andersson/TT

Six big headaches for Stefan Löfven

Stefan Löfven has started talks to form a new government, but the former welder faces huge challenges in bringing together an administration that will work. The Local explains why. READ  

Business
Microsoft to buy Swedish Minecraft makers

Microsoft to buy Swedish Minecraft makers

UPDATED: Microsoft announced on Monday that it was buying Swedish company Mojang, which was behind the hit game Minecraft, for $2.5 billion (17.9 billion kronor). READ  

Presented by Stockholm Business Region
Introducing... Starting a business in Stockholm
A business meeting in Stockholm. Photo: Henrik Trygg/Imagebank Sweden

Introducing... Starting a business in Stockholm

Does the dream of your very own business in Stockholm seem unattainable? It may be much, much closer than you think. Stockholm is the largest city in Scandinavia - and its possibilities are endless. READ  

Elections 2014
Election puts economy in 'fog of uncertainty'
Maria Rankka, head of the Stockholm Chamber of Commerce, is worried about restrictions on foreign workers coming to Sweden. File photo: Magnus Hjalmarson Neideman/SvD /TT

Election puts economy in 'fog of uncertainty'

Sweden’s currency took a hit and business leaders warned of a rocky road ahead as the country awoke on Monday to the prospect of a left-led government for the first time in eight years. READ  

My Swedish Career
How I became a surf blogger in Sweden
John Brodie's back. Photo: Private

How I became a surf blogger in Sweden

Surf's up with The Local's Swedish Career chat this week. We've taken a turn from the norm and talked to John Brodie who's kicking off what looks like a promising career in surf writing. READ  

Elections 2014
Sweden's Prime Minister and Finance Minister quit
Reinfeldt hands his resignation to speaker Per Westerberg. Photo: TT

Sweden's Prime Minister and Finance Minister quit

Outgoing Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt has handed in his resignation after his right-wing Alliance was defeated at the polls on Sunday. His Finance Minister Anders Borg has announced he is leaving politics too. READ  

Analysis
How Sweden Democrats went mainstream
Sweden Democrat leader Jimmie Åkesson celebrates in Stockholm. Photo: TT

How Sweden Democrats went mainstream

The anti-immigrant Sweden Democrats have become the third largest party in a country famous for its egalitarian ideals. The Local's Maddy Savage explores the reasons for their success. READ  

Elections 2014
ELECTIONS BLOG: Updates and analysis
Social Democrat leader Stefan Löfven. Photo: TT

ELECTIONS BLOG: Updates and analysis

The Local blogged live throughout Sunday night as our reporters watched Reinfeldt resign as prime minister, Löfven declare he was ready to lead the red-greens and the Sweden Democrats celebrate becoming Sweden's third largest party. READ  

Interview
Green Party: 'We didn't succeed'
Green Party co-leader Gustav Fridolin. Photo: Fredrik Sandberg/TT

Green Party: 'We didn't succeed'

While the Green Party did not become Sweden's third political force as it hoped, it is set to govern alongside new prime minister Stefan Löfven. The Local spoke with Gustav Fridolin, one of the party's two co-leaders. READ  

Behind the scenes: Election night 2014
Is the the Alliance's last photo op as Sweden's government? Photo: Jonas Ekströmer/TT

Behind the scenes: Election night 2014

The Local reported live from the main parties' election events on Sunday night. Our reporters shared their insights ahead of the results. READ  

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
Business & Money
How to start a business in Stockholm
Society
How I became a surf blogger when I moved to Sweden
Gallery
People-watching: September 13th
Society
Why is Stockholm's Södermalm so cool?
Gallery
People-watching: September 11th
Blog updates

12 September

EU sanctions: necessary, effective and timely (The Diplomatic Dispatch) »

"Regular readers of this blog know I’ve written about the Russia-Ukraine crisis here. Today I’ve chosen to share an article by the UK Minister for Europe, David Lidington, with my readers: This week the European Union imposed further sanctions on Russia. This decision followed months of destabilisation of Ukraine by Russia, and months of political..." READ »

 

12 September

Editor’s blog (The Local Sweden) »

"Hi readers, With the Swedish election just days away, we’ve spent the week bringing you the latest headlines from the final stages of the campaign. Polls suggest that the gap between the ruling Alliance parties and the Social Democrat-led opposition is narrowing, but the result is far from certain. We’ve put together a list of five possible..." READ »

 
 
 
Gallery
People-watching: September 13th
Politics
Five possible election outcomes
Politics
Sweden elections: How do they work?
Politics
Sweden elections: Who's who?
Lifestyle
What's on in Sweden
Sponsored Article
Find out what gives this Swedish school executive appeal
Gallery
Property of the week - Hornstull, Stockholm
Analysis
Five differences between the UK and Sweden
Welshman Jonny Luck is now a chef in Sweden
Society
How I opened my own restaurant in Sweden's Malmö
Sponsored Article
Stockholm tech fest: relive the magic
Gallery
People-watching September 8th
Photo: TT
Politics
Feminists fight for first seats
Politics
Immigration cut push from Sweden Democrats
Sheryl Sandberg says women have "low expectations"
Tech
Facebook exec talks women's limits in Swedish business
Politics
Left Party calls for justice and equality
Politics
Green Party wants 'better world' for kids
Lifestyle
The five best Swedish songs of the month
Sponsored Article
Introducing… Insurance in Stockholm
National
Huge clear up underway after Skåne floods
Politics
Sweden's Alliance reveals full manifesto
Tech
Sweden's highest peak to lose title next year
Sponsored Article
Graduates: Insure your income in Sweden with AEA
Sponsored Article
Introducing...Your finances in Stockholm
Sponsored Article
Introducing...Housing in Stockholm
Latest news from The Local in Austria

More news from Austria at thelocal.at

Latest news from The Local in Switzerland

More news from Switzerland at thelocal.ch

Latest news from The Local in Germany

More news from Germany at thelocal.de

Latest news from The Local in Denmark

More news from Denmark at thelocal.dk

Latest news from The Local in Spain

More news from Spain at thelocal.es

Latest news from The Local in France

More news from France at thelocal.fr

Latest news from The Local in Italy

More news from Italy at thelocal.it

Latest news from The Local in Norway

More news from Norway at thelocal.no

846
jobs available
Swedish Down Town Consulting & Productions
Swedish Down Town Consulting & Productions is an innovative business company which provides valuable assistance with the Swedish Authorities, Swedish language practice and general communications. Call 073-100 47 81 or visit:
www.swedishdowntown.com
PSD Media
PSD Media is marketing company that offers innovative solutions for online retailers. We provide modern solutions that help increase traffic and raise conversion. Visit our site at:
http://psdmedia.se
If you want to drink, that’s your business.
If you want to stop, we can help.

Learn more about English-language Alcoholics Anonymous in Sweden. No dues. No fees. Confidentiality assured.
AA-EUROPE.ORG/SWEDEN