Regulatory Development and Retrospective Review Tracker

Mercury; Regulation of Use in Certain Products

a.k.a. Mercury - TSCA Section 6(a) Rule

RIN: 2070-AJ46 (What's this?)

Docket No.: Not yet available (What's this?)

Current Phase: Pre-Proposal (What's this?)

Elemental mercury is well documented as a toxic, environmentally persistent substance that is atmospherically transported on a local, regional, and global scale. In addition, mercury can be environmentally transformed into methylmercury which bioaccumulates, biomagnifies, and is highly toxic.

EPA conducted a preliminary analysis of the costs, advantages, and disadvantages associated with mercury-free alternatives to certain mercury-containing products, and made a preliminary judgment that effective and economically feasible alternatives exist. These mercury-containing products include switches, relays/contactors, flame sensors, and button cell batteries. Therefore, EPA is evaluating whether an action (or combination of actions) under the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) is appropriate for mercury used in such products. As appropriate, such an action(s) would involve a group(s) of these products. Specifically, EPA will determine whether the continued use of mercury in one or more of these products would pose an unreasonable risk to human health and the environment.

NPRM: Published in FR00/0000 (projected)

Potential Effects

Children's Health
This rule is likely to address an adverse impact on childhood lifestages, including prenatal (via exposure to women of childbearing age). The potential adverse impacts are expected to be due to toxicity (i.e., the developing fetus, infants, and/or children are more likely to have an adverse response than adult lifestages).

Environmental Justice
This rulemaking involves a topic that is likely to be of particular interest to or have particular impact upon minority, low-income, tribal, and/or other vulnerable populations because:

  • This topic is likely to present an opportunity to address an existing disproportionate impact on vulnerable populations.
  • This topic is likely to result in the collection of information or data that could be used to assess potential impacts on the health or environmental conditions of vulnerable populations.

International Effects
This rulemaking is expected to have international trade and investment effects, or otherwise may be of interest to our international trading partners.

Small Entities
EPA notifies the public when a rulemaking is likely to 1) have any adverse economic impact on small entities even though a Regulatory Flexibility Analysis may not be required and/or 2) have significant adverse economic impacts on a substantial number of small entities. The term "small entities" includes small businesses, small governments, and small not-for-profits. (Read a longer explanation on our Small Entities web page.) This rulemaking is likely to impact small entities in the following way(s):
  • Likely to have a significant adverse economic impact on a substantial number of these small entities:
    • small governments

Participate / Learn More Regulatory Review

Some of EPA's rulemakings undergo regulatory review (What's this?), as prescribed by Executive Order 12866 and coordinated by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB). The following list describes which of this rulemaking's stages have completed review and published in the Federal Register, if any, and provides links to the review documents where available. Consult the "Timeline" section of this Web page for the dates of each review.

  • NPRM - No Information Available.
Citations & Authorities

Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Citation
40 CFR 750

Legal Authority
15 USC 2605