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Ban on Mercury Added Novelties Products

Sales Ban on Mercury-Added Novelties

Ban on the sale or distribution of mercury-added novelty products after January 1, 2005 in New York State.

picture of a necklace containing mercury

New York State passed a law in 2004 (Chapter 145, Laws of 2004) to regulate the distribution, sale and disposal of mercury and mercury-added products. The purpose of the Law is to reduce human and wildlife exposure to mercury by requiring manufacturers of mercury-added products to notify consumers of the product's mercury content through the use of a label on the product and/or packaging. The Law would also ban the sale of many consumer products containing mercury, prohibit the incineration of and restrict the disposal of mercury-added products as solid waste except by separated delivery to a permitted solid or hazardous waste facility.

Additionally, a manufacturer that produces or sells mercury-added novelties must notify retailers of the ban and inform such retailers of how to properly dispose of their remaining inventory.

Retailers that have inventory of banned products should contact a hazardous waste disposal company or mercury recycler to properly manage such products. Small businesses, or those that generate small quantities of hazardous waste, may also be able to dispose of such products through their community's household hazardous waste program (although they may be charged a fee for such service).

What is a "mercury-added novelty product?"

The New York State Environmental Conservation Law (ECL) § 27-2101(8) states: "Mercury-added novelty product" means a mercury-added product intended mainly for personal or household enjoyment or adornment. Mercury-added novelties include, but are not limited to, items intended for use as practical jokes, figurines, adornments, toys, games, cards, ornaments, yard statues and figures, candles, jewelry, holiday decorations, items of apparel (including footwear), or similar products. A product is not a mercury-added novelty solely on the basis that it is a game with a light screen display containing mercury, or includes a removable battery containing mercury."

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