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2 types of chemicals and 9 products containing mercury are planned to be included in Singapore's list of hazardous substances


Time:

2024-03-05

Singapore plans to include 2 types of chemicals and 9 mercury containing products in the list of hazardous substances.

To fulfill the international obligations of member states of the Stockholm Convention and Minamata Convention, the National Environment Agency (NEA) of Singapore has launched a 4-week public consultation on 2 categories of chemicals and 9 mercury containing products since February 18, 2024, with plans to list some substances and products as Environmental Hazardous Substances (HS) under Schedule 2 of the Environmental Protection and Management Act (EPMA). In Singapore, any individual/business purchasing, storing, and/or using substances listed in Appendix 2 is required to obtain a hazardous substance permit.

 

 

Proposed substances and products to be included:

 

Class 2 chemical substances

· Medium chain chlorinated paraffins (MCCPs): chlorinated paraffins with a carbon chain length within the range of C14-17 and a chlorine content of 45% or more by weight.

· Long chain perfluorocarbonic acids (LC-PFCAs) and their salts and related compounds: i.e. carbon chain lengths between 9 and 21.

 

These two types of chemicals are widely used in industry, but due to their high toxicity, persistence, and bioaccumulation, they have been recognized by the International Persistent Organic Pollutants Review Committee (POPRC) as having long-term harmful effects on the environment.

 

Given that POPRC may recommend their inclusion in Appendix A of the Convention for elimination at the 12th Conference of the Parties (COP) in 2025 (Appendix A contains substances that need to be phased out), NEA intends to take preventive measures to implement strict regulatory controls on the import, export, manufacturing, sales, transportation, purchase, storage, or use of these two types of chemicals. Therefore, before these substances are officially listed in Annex A, enterprises need to obtain a specific HS license issued by NEA in order to continue their production or import and export activities.

 

 

9 types of mercury containing products

Meanwhile, in response to the requirements of the Minamata Convention, NEA also plans to ban nine mercury containing products, including certain specific types of fluorescent lamps, electronic measuring devices, and mercury vacuum pumps, as they may release mercury and pose significant risks to the environment and public health. The following mercury containing products will be prohibited from manufacturing and importing/exporting in Singapore from January 1, 2025.

 

· Compact fluorescent lamp (CFL. i) with integrated electronic ballast, used for general lighting, with a power of no more than 30 watts and a mercury content of no more than 5 milligrams per bulb.

· Cold cathode fluorescent lamps and external electrode fluorescent lamps for electronic displays.

· Strain gauges for volumetric recorders.

· Specific electronic measuring equipment, including melt pressure sensors, melt pressure transmitters, and melt pressure sensors, but excluding equipment installed in large equipment or used for high-· precision measurements without suitable mercury free alternatives.

· Mercury vacuum pump.

· Tire balancer and wheel hub counterweight.

· Photography film and paper.

· As a product of satellite and spacecraft propellants.

· The very high-precision capacitance and loss measurement bridge, as well as high-frequency RF switches and relays used in monitoring and control instruments, have a maximum mercury content limit of 20 milligrams under specific conditions.

 

NEA plans to officially announce these adjustments in June 2024 and provide a six-month transition period to allow relevant industries sufficient time to prepare and ensure a smooth transition to the new regulations. For chemical substances and products that will be phased out or restricted in use, relevant enterprises should actively seek environmentally friendly alternatives and evaluate the feasibility and cost-effectiveness of these alternatives to smooth the transition.

 

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