Health and Safety

CHAPTER 23-24.9
Mercury Reduction and Education Act

SECTION 23-24.9-6

§ 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 § 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 §§ 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.

(d) 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, except Hg-silver oxide batteries may be offered for sale or distributed for promotional purposes until January 1, 2012.

(e) Commencing February 1, 2011, the following sales prohibitions shall apply to manufacturers, thermostat wholesalers, and thermostat retailers:

(1) A manufacturer not in compliance with § 23-24.9-10.2, is prohibited from offering any thermostat for final sale in the state, selling any thermostat at final sale in the state or distributing any thermostat in the state.

(2) A thermostat wholesaler or contractor shall not offer for final sale, sell at final sale or distribute any thermostat unless the wholesaler or contractor acts as a collection site for thermostats that contain mercury:

(i) A wholesaler or contractor may meet the requirements of this subsection by participating as a collection site in a manufacturer's collection program as described under § 23-24.9-10.2, or by collecting thermostats that contain mercury and managing the collected thermostats in accordance with applicable federal and state universal waste rules.

(ii) A wholesaler or retailer acting as a collection site shall provide visible signage at the site about the collection and recycling of mercury thermostats.

(3) A thermostat wholesaler or thermostat retailer shall not offer for final sale, sell at a final sale, or distribute in this state any thermostat of a manufacturer that is not in compliance with § 23-24.9-10.2.

History of Section.
(P.L. 2001, ch. 234, § 1; P.L. 2001, ch. 318, § 1; P.L. 2003, ch. 235, § 1; P.L. 2003, ch. 328, § 1; P.L. 2007, ch. 387, § 1; P.L. 2010, ch. 131, § 1; P.L. 2010, ch. 145, § 1; P.L. 2011, ch. 249, § 1; P.L. 2011, ch. 264, § 1.)