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New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services

Mercury Facts for Manufacturers

On June 20, 2000, a new bill regulating mercury-added products was signed into law (Section 278; RSA 149-M:51 through 149-M:57). To reduce exposure to mercury and help further efforts to eliminate mercury and mercury-added products from the solid waste stream, this law requires manufacturers to notify the state about the mercury-added products they produce and certify that they will use and manage mercury appropriately. This web page briefly discusses these requirements.

Effective July 1, 2001, manufacturers of mercury-added product(s) must notify DES describing the type of mercury-added product(s) they produce, the amount of mercury added to each product and the purpose of the mercury. Manufacturers may file their mercury-added product notification with IMERC – the Interstate Mercury Education and Reduction Clearinghouse unless the manufacturer has concerns about confidential business information. IMERC was formed under the auspices of NEWMOA in Boston to coordinate mercury reduction initiatives among states in the Northeast. The states of Maine, Connecticut and Rhode Island also require notification for mercury-added products. A manufacturer may file with IMERC instead of each individual state. Please visit the IMERC web site for forms and further information. Manufacturers are required to update the information provided in the products notification every three years or when there is a change in the information provided in the notification.

Manufacturers, or a designated industry or trade association, must also provide the total amount of mercury in all products sold in the United States for a calendar year. Manufacturers or their designated industry or trade shop should have submitted information on the total amount of mercury in all products for the 2001 calendar year by April 1st of 2002. This information is submitted separately from the product notification. IMERC will also process the reports on the total mercury used in products sold in the United States for a calendar year. Forms and instructions for submitting this information will also be available from IMERC at the above web site.

The notification requirements do not apply to prescription drugs, biological products, or over-the-counter drugs regulated by the United States Food and Drug Administration. Questions regarding these notification requirements should be directed to Terri Goldberg ( at NEWMOA/IMERC or (617) 367-8558 x302. Notification forms should be submitted to IMERC at 129 Portland Street, 6th Floor; Boston, MA 02114-2014.

As of January 1, 2001, anyone selling or distributing elemental mercury in New Hampshire must have an official representative from the receiving organization sign a statement certifying that the recipient:

  1. Will use the mercury only for medical, dental, research or manufacturing purposes;
  2. Understands that mercury is toxic and will store and use it appropriately so that no person is exposed to the mercury; and,
  3. Will not place or allow anyone under their control to place the mercury or cause the mercury to be placed in solid waste for disposal or in a wastewater disposal system.

Providers and recipients of elemental mercury are required to complete the certification form provided by DES.

Certification Form and Instructions – The form to be completed with each delivery of elemental mercury.

Providers of elemental mercury are required to send completed certification forms to the DES Pollution Prevention Program. The distributor or seller must also give the recipient a material safety data sheet with each shipment of elemental mercury.

Definition of a manufacturer of mercury products:
"Any person, firm, partnership, corporation, governmental entity, organization, combination, or joint venture that produces a product containing mercury or an importer or domestic distributer of a product containing mercury produced in a foreign country. In the case of a multi-component product containing mercury, the manufacturer is the last manufacturer to produce or assemble the product. If the multi-component product is produced in a foreign country, the manufacturer is the importer or domestic distributer."

Definition of a mercury-added product:
A product that contains mercury or a product with a component that contains mercury intentionally added to provide a specific characteristic, appearance, or quality or to perform a specific function or for any other reason.

Manufacturers of the products listed below are likely to have to notify DES. The following is not a complete list, and you must notify DES only if the products you produce contain mercury.

Button Cell Batteries Light Switches (prior to 1991) Sphygmomanometers
Electronics Manometers Staining Solutions
Esophogeal Devices Mercuric Oxide Switches
Fixing Solutions Mercurochrome Thermometers
Float Control Switches Mercury Chloride Thermostats
Fluorescent Lamps Neon Lamps Toys and novelty items

Mercury Disposal/Recycling Options
Mercury-added products can be recycled by an approved vendor under the Universal Waste Rule. "Universal Wastes" are wastes that meet the definition of hazardous waste in the NH Hazardous Waste Rules, but which, during accumulation and transport, pose a relatively low risk compared to other hazardous wastes. As a Universal Waste, mercury-added products are exempt from most Hazardous Waste Rule requirements. DES has determined that the following wastes meet the universal waste criteria: used antifreeze, mercury-containing lamps and devices, certain types of hazardous waste batteries, certain recalled or suspended hazardous waste pesticides and cathode ray tubes. For more information, please contact the New Hampshire Pollution Prevention Program at (603) 271-6460 or, or contact the Hazardous Waste Compliance Section at (603) 271-2942.

NH Department of Environmental Services | 29 Hazen Drive | PO Box 95 | Concord, NH 03302-0095
(603) 271-3503 | TDD Access: Relay NH 1-800-735-2964 | Hours: M-F, 8am-4pm

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