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Mercury Switches



The Issue: As a result of the automakers' continued decisions to use mercury in automotive applications, significant challenges have been created for the industries involved in end-of-life vehicle recycling.

The Impact: The potential for the contamination of the recycling infrastructure and the release of highly toxic mercury to the environment is an undeniable threat caused by the automakers' apparent disregard for the end-of-life impacts of their products.

ARA Position: The parties removing mercury from automobiles should not bear the financial and subsequent legal burdens of such recovery and collection systems. Automakers must be responsible for the design choices they make; thus they must take financial and organization responsibility for the collection and recovery of mercury from all automobiles.

In order to utilize and expand on existing infrastructures, both in-use and end-of-life strategies should be included in the collection and recovery program. An in-use strategy recovers and collects mercury switches from the fleet of vehicles currently on the road; an end-of-life strategy would recover and collect mercury switches from retired vehicles. Such a dual system facilitates the removal of mercury switches from automobiles thereby protecting the recycling infrastructure and the environment.

Regulatory Activity: Contact Danielle F. Waterfield, Esq. to obtain the latest information on the national roll-out of the National Vehicle Mercury Switch Removal Program and what your state requires. 

ARA Staff Contact: Anthony Livingston, Director, Governmental Affairs at, or 703-385-1001 x18.




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