Global concerns shape EU debate on mercury from chlor-alkali plants

EU Environment Ministers have been confronted for the first time with the problem of how to phase out the use of mercury cells in the chlor-alkali industry without unacceptable environmental consequences. Options for dealing with thousands of tonnes of mercury which will arise as the technology is decommissioned have been set out in a paper by the European Commission1 - but decisions at EU level will be influenced by growing pressure to restrict mercury exports to developing countries where it is used in hazardous ways.

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