Batteries/Button Cells 060603
(June 2006) ANSI (American National Standards Institute) and the National Electrical Manufacturers’ Association (NEMA) announces initiative referencing the battery industry’s commitment to eliminate added mercury in button cells. Hopefully, the goal will be complete by 2011.
Button cells are currently the only remaining type of battery that contains added mercury. This liquid element has been added to button batteries to reduce internal gas formations that can lead to leakage and shorter shelf life. Due to environmental concerns, the battery industry is working to develop alternative products.
The battery industry has continually worked to reduce mercury in batteries. By 1993, the industry phased out the addition of mercury in standard size Alkaline and Carbon-zinc batteries. Between 1991 and 1995, the production of mercuric oxide button cells used in hearing aids was phased out. Prior to the recent decision to entirely eliminate added mercury in button cells, the industry had lowered the amount of mercury in button cells to record lows, far exceeding the 25 mg. federal limit.