Mercury and cadmium report proposes landfill restrictions

A long-delayed Environment Agency report on mercury and cadmium recommends that wastes bearing the metals should be barred from co-disposal landfills.1 It also suggests tougher controls on metals in industrial minerals and fuels - and draws attention to the Government's failure to control mercury releases from dental premises.

The report, commissioned from WS Atkins by the Agency's predecessor, HM Inspectorate of Pollution, was completed in 1994. The delay appears to be due partly to Department of Health sensitivities over mercury releases from dental premises.

Aquatic discharges of cadmium and mercury have declined significantly, driven by North Sea Conference agreements to achieve a 70% reduction in inputs by 1995 on a 1985 baseline. The UK claims to have met

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