2007 -- H 6396 SUBSTITUTE A
A N A C T
RELATING TO HEALTH AND SAFETY - MERCURY REDUCTION AND EDUCATION ACT
Introduced By: Representatives Ginaitt, Walsh, and Naughton
Date Introduced: May 16, 2007
It is enacted by the General Assembly as follows:
SECTION 1. Sections 23-24.9-6 and 23-24.9-7 of the General Laws in Chapter 23-24.9
entitled "Mercury Reduction and Education Act" is hereby amended to read as follows:
23-24.9-6. Restrictions on the sale of certain mercury-added products. -- (a) No later
than January 1, 2003, no mercury-added novelty shall be offered for final sale or use or
distributed for promotional purposes in Rhode Island. Manufacturers that produce and sell
mercury-added novelties must notify retailers about the provisions of this product ban and how to
dispose of the remaining inventory properly. The requirements of this section shall apply to all
mercury-added novelties irrespective of whether or not the product is exempt from the phase-out
requirements of section 23-24.9-11.
(b) No mercury fever thermometer may be distributed, sold or offered for sale in this
state on or after January 1, 2002, except by prescription. As used in this section, the term
"mercury fever thermometer" includes any device containing mercury in which the mercury is
used to measure the internal body temperature of a person. This restriction shall not apply to
digital thermometers utilizing mercury-added button cell batteries. The manufacturers of mercury
fever thermometers shall supply clear instructions on the careful handling of the thermometer to
avoid breakage and proper cleanup should a breakage occur with all mercury fever thermometers
sold through prescription. Mercury fever thermometers manufacturers must also comply with
sections 23-24.9-5 and 23-24.9-7 -- 23-24.9-10.
(c) After January 1, 2003, no school in Rhode Island may use or purchase for use in a
primary or secondary classroom, bulk elemental or chemical mercury, or mercury compounds.
Manufacturers that produce and sell such materials must notify retailers about the provisions of
this ban and how to dispose of the remaining inventory properly. Other mercury-added products
that are used by schools are not subject to this prohibition.
on sale, use or distribution shall not apply to a novelty incorporating one or more mercury-added button cell batteries as its
only mercury-added component or components.
Button cell batteries. After June 30, 2011 a person may not sell or offer to sell or distribute for
promotional purposes a mercury-added cell battery for consumer use or a product for consumer
use that contains a mercury-added button cell battery.
23-24.9-7. Phase-out and exemptions. -- (a) No mercury-added product shall be offered
for final sale or use or distributed for promotional purposes in Rhode Island if the mercury
content of the product exceeds:
(1) One gram (1000 milligrams) for mercury-added fabricated products or two hundred
fifty (250) parts per million (ppm) for mercury-added formulated products, effective January 1,
(2) One hundred (100) milligrams for mercury-added fabricated products or fifty (50)
parts per million (ppm) for mercury-added formulated products, effective July 1, 2007; and
(3) Ten (10) milligrams for mercury-added fabricated products or ten (10) parts per
million (ppm) for mercury-added formulated products, effective July 1, 2009.
(b) For a product that contains one or more mercury-added products as a component, this
section is applicable to each component part or parts and not to the entire product. For example, if
an iron has a mercury switch, the phase-out applies to the switch and not the entire iron.
(c) For a product that contains more than one mercury-added product as a component,
the phase-out limits specified in subsection (a) of this section apply to each component and not
the sum of the mercury in all of the components. For example, for a car that contains mercury-
added switches and lighting, the phase-out limits would apply to each component separately, and
not the combined total of mercury in all of the components.
(d) (1) Fluorescent lamps and high intensity discharge (HID) lamps, including metal
halide, high pressure sodium, and mercury vapor types, shall be exempt from the requirements of
subsection (a) of this section. As of January 1, 2010, the mercury content of fluorescent bulbs
shall either not exceed
ten (10) one
hundred (100) milligrams or the manufacturer shall comply
with the exemption requirements pursuant to subsection (f) of this section.
(2) Specialized lighting used in the entertainment industry, such as metal halide lights,
shall be exempted from the requirements of section 23-24.9-7(a).
(3) Mercury added button cell batteries and products containing mercury added button
cell batteries shall be exempted from the phase-out limits specified in subsection 23-24.9-7(a).
(e) A mercury-added product shall be exempt from the limits on total mercury content
set forth in subsection (f) of this section if the level of mercury or mercury compounds contained
in the product are required in order to comply with federal or state health or safety requirements.
In order to claim exemption under this section, the manufacturer must notify the department, in
writing, and provide the legal justification for the claim of exemption. In addition, laboratory
chemical standards shall be exempted from the requirements of subsection (a) of this section.
(f) Manufacturers of a mercury-added product may apply to the director for an
exemption for no more than five (5) years from the limits on total mercury content set forth in
subsection (a) of this section for a product or category of products. Applications for exemptions
must: (1) document the basis for the requested exemption or renewal of exemption; (2) describe
how the manufacturer will ensure that a system exists for the proper collection, transportation and
processing of the product(s) at the end of their useful life; and (3) document the readiness of all
necessary parties to perform as intended in the planned system.
(g) The director may grant, with modifications or conditions, an exemption for a product
or category of products if he or she finds: (i) a system exists for the proper collection,
transportation and processing of the mercury-added product, including direct return of a waste
product to the manufacturer, an industry or trade group supported collection and recycling
system, or other similar private or public sector efforts; and (ii) he or she finds the following
criteria are met:
(1) Use of the product is beneficial to the environment or protective of public health or
protective of public safety; and/or
(2) There is no technically feasible alternative to the use of mercury in the product; and
(3) There is no comparable non-mercury-added product available at reasonable cost.
Prior to issuing an exemption, the director shall consult with neighboring states and
provinces and regional organizations to promote consistency. The state shall avoid, to the extent
feasible, inconsistencies in the implementation of this section. Upon reapplication by the
manufacturer and findings by the director of continued eligibility under the criteria of this
subsection and of compliance by the manufacturer with the conditions of the director's original
approval, an exemption may be renewed one or more times and each renewal may be for a period
of no longer than five (5) years.
SECTION 2. This act shall take effect upon passage.