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EU surveys heavy metal replacement options

The European Commission's environment directorate has published a survey of the sources of heavy metals found in the waste stream and the substitutes available for replacing them in industrial products, together with approximate substitution costs. Carried out by Danish consultants Cowi, the survey focuses on lead, cadmium, mercury and chromium, already the subject of phase-outs under EU legislation on scrap cars, electronics and batteries. The report suggests prime candidates for cost-effective substitution are lead coatings in petrol tanks, mercury in chlor-alkali production, and cadmium in copper and other alloys. See study.

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