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OECD: Measures to Reduce All Man-Made Emissions of Mercury to the Environment[+]

(Recommendation adopted on 18th September, 1973)



Having regard to Article 5b) of the Convention on the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development of 14th December, 1960;

Having regard to the Recommendation of the Council of 26th May, 1972, on Guiding Principles concerning International Economic Aspects of Environmental Policies (C(72)128).

Considering the use and hazards of mercury, as well as the possibilities for emission control and the contingent economic effects thereof:

On the proposal of the Environment Committee:

1. RECOMMENDS that the Governments of Member countries should adopt measures:

a) to reduce all-made emissions of mercury to the environment to the lowest possible levels, with particular attention to:

i) the elimination of alkyl-mercury compounds from all uses that allow this material to reach the environment in any way;

ii) the maximum possible reduction of mercury in discharges from all industrial plants using or manufacturing products containing mercury chemicals;

b) for which immediate targets should be:

i) the elimination of alkyl-mercury compounds in agriculture;

ii) the elimination of all mercury compounds from use in the pulp and paper industry;

iii) the maximum possible reduction in the discharges of mercury from mercury-cell chloralkali plants.

2. Invites the Governments of Member countries:

a) to inform the Organisation of the measures taken pursuant to this Recommendation;

b) as from 1st January, 1974, to proceed annually to an exchange of information, wherever possible, within the Environment Committee, on the following subjects:

i) the quantity of alkyl-mercury used in agriculture and horticulture;

ii) the quantity of mercury used by the pulp and paper industry;

iii) the quantity of mercury discharged by the chloralkali industry in air and water and remaining in the solid wastes rejected by that same industry;

iv) the total national net consumption of mercury.


+ This is a part of the International Environmental Agreements Compendium, compiled 1995 by the Pollution Prevention and Pesticide Management Branch, Ministry of Environment, Lands and Parks, British Columbia, Canada.