The Banning of Cadmium and Mercury From Batteries

27 Feb.,2023


The company has a group of cooperation teams engaged in the Ni-Cd Battery Pack AA900m industry for many years, with dedication, innovation spirit and service awareness, and has established a sound quality control and management system to ensure product quality.

In 2016, European lawmakers got together to vote on the use of cadmium in portable batteries. Previously, it was a feature of batteries used in the likes of cordless power tools, including drills, screwdrivers, and saws. The vote was approved by 578-17 and came into effect in the EU in December 2016. 

What’s more, a ban on mercury in button cells was also announced by the committee. Previously, mercury could be found in watches, toys, and remote controls, and the ban was instituted in order to reduce the environmental impact that mercury has when these items are improperly discarded.  

What does it mean for NiCd batteries?

As soon as the ban came into force, it essentially outlawed the use of Nickel-Cadmium (NiCd) batteries. However, they are still permitted for use in emergency systems and lighting, such as alarms, and in specific medical equipment. Other appliances must now turn to lithium-ion alternatives, which are much safer and better for the environment. 

Why was cadmium banned?

The ban on cadmium was necessary because it is carcinogenic and potentially harmful to human health. It is also extremely toxic for the aquatic environment and has long been banned in the production of jewelry and plastics under the REACH regulation on chemicals. Research shows that cadmium is toxic when it gets into water sources, highlighting one of the fundamental reasons why it has now been banned across the EU.

Cadmium poisoning has been reported in many parts of the world, and it can lead to a broad range of long-term health problems, such as reproductive, cardiovascular, and respiratory afflictions. As such, the legislation seeks to put a stop to the harmful chemical finding their way into our waterways, which brings down the risk that cadmium poses to the general public.

Mercury in batteries

Mercury became a popular component of batteries in the 1940s due to its highly stable voltage. Mercury batteries also had a greater capacity than others at the time, which was another reason for their success. But in recent times, the negative impact of mercury on the environment has been realized, particularly when it is not disposed of correctly. As a result, most manufacturers have stopped using mercury in their batteries altogether, in line with the recent changes in EU legislation. 

If you have any questions about the components within your batteries or would like further advice on any EU legislation, feel free to get in touch with our team. 

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