WASHINGTON (CN) - Since the use of mercury in thermometers and other consumer devices has become less common, the Environmental Protection Agency plans to require that anyone wanting to manufacture or import such devices must notify the agency.
The notice must be filed at least 90 days in advance of making or importing the devices.
The agency's proposal elevates the use of elemental mercury in thermometers, barometers and manometers to the category of "significant new use" for the substance, which is a bio-toxin. The notification period allows the agency time to investigate the "new use" to determine if it is appropriate given less toxic alternatives.
According to the agency, no mercury containing thermometers, barometers or manometers are being imported to, or manufactured in, the United States at this time, thus making any future requests to do so a "new use."
The regulation also would require advance notification for the import or manufacture of hygrometers and psychrometers used to measure relative humidity.
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