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Emissions of mercury, PAHs, dioxins and PCBs related to NFR 3

Solvent and Other Product Use in Nordic countries

image of Emissions of mercury, PAHs, dioxins and PCBs related to NFR 3

PCBs and dioxins are among the most toxic organic chemicals and where the latter is an unwanted bi-product primarily from residential wood burning, fires, municipal waste incineration and steel reclamation, PCBs have been widely used in a number of industrial and commercial products and activities. PAHs have carcinogeni/mutagenic properties and are produced when materials containing carbon and hydrogen are burned. The heavy metal mercury is also one of the most toxic chemicals that is being used today and although there are legally binding instruments in force within the EU and globally, which aim to limit the use and spreading of mercury in the environment it is still found in various consumer and commercial products. The use of these chemicals gives rise to emissions to air. This joint Nordic project contributes to improving the emission inventories for mercury, PAHs, dioxins and PCBs related to the sector Solvents and Other Product Use", which will help the Nordic countries to assess whether they reach the overall environmental objective of clean and healthy surroundings and several targets in the Nordic Environmental Action Programme 2009-2012 and the international air quality conventions such as Convention on Long-Range, Transboundary Air Pollution (CLRTAP). The report is mainly aimed at experts performing the national emission inventories but also policy-makers and the general public may find information on sources to emissions, working procedure of emission inventories and on measures implemented on an international and national level for reducing emissions."

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Means of actions to reduce emissions

Mercury is one of the most toxic chemicals that is being used today and on the EU and national levels there are legally binding instruments in force which aim to limit the use and spreading of mercury in the environment. These include banning of use and of export to limit the emissions on a global basis. Regulation in the EU comprises, i.a., EC (2008) on the banning of exports of metallic mercury and certain mercury compounds and mixtures and the safe storage of metallic mercury. Furthermore in the EU, legislation has been laid down to restrict the presence of mercury in products, e.g. directives include legislative requirements for lead: Mercury restriction in packaging, mercury in restriction batteries and mercury prohibition in electronics (EIATrack, 2010). Denmark has implemented regulations that are more extensive than stated by the EU, and is working on establishing internationally binding regulations. In Denmark mercury and mercury containing products, excluding measuring instruments, may not be imported, sold or exported. Furthermore import and sale of mercury containing medical thermometers for professional and private use and other mercury containing measuring instruments for private use is banned. Exceptions are import and sale of mercury containing measuring instruments that on the third of October 2007 are older than 50 years. Further exceptions are import, sale and export of mercury and mercury containing products for the following purposes: dental fillings on permanent molars, switches and relays for certain uses, certain light sources, blinking devices on railways, electrodes for certain uses, mercury containing chemicals for certain uses, research, education, life saving devices on airplanes, repair of existing mercury containing equipment. Some products are not included by the above regulation but must comply with other regulation; e.g. batteries, cosmetics, medical equipment, paints, lacquers, packaging, waste, electric and electronic products. Desinfection of brickwalls, wood and textiles are also comprised by other regulations (DEPA, 2011b).

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