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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

Following an EU rule to allow mercury in some measuring instruments Sweden may be forced to lift the national ban on the substance

“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)

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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.
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