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Battery industry commits to eliminating mercury

The U.S. battery industry has announced a commitment to eliminate added mercury from button cell batteries by June ...


The U.S. battery industry has announced a commitment to eliminate added mercury from button cell batteries by June 30, 2011.

The battery industry 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. However, at that time, the technology was not available to do the same for smaller button cell batteries, which are predominantly used in watches and hearing aids. Thus button cells are the only batteries that continue to contain small amounts of mercury.

In order to achieve its goal of eliminating mercury from button cells, the industry will continue to advance emerging technologies. Manufacturers will also dedicate resources to solving technological and manufacturing challenges that exist today.

“By making this commitment, the U.S. battery industry demonstrates once again its leadership in product stewardship,” says Evan Gaddis, National Electrical Manufacturers Association (NEMA) president and chief executive officer. “Their voluntary efforts over the years have contributed a great deal toward reducing the amount of mercury released into the environment.”

Members of the Dry Battery Section of NEMA, a trade association of electrical manufacturers, include dry cell battery manufacturers Duracell, Inc., Eastman Kodak Company, Energizer Holdings, Inc., Panasonic Battery Corporation of America, Rayovac Corporation, Renata SA, Saft America, Inc., and Wilson Greatbatch, Ltd. Electrical products within the NEMA scope exceed $100-billion.

For further information, contact Jason Peak, NEMA Senior Editor at 703-841-3222 or jas_peak@nema.org


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