DEEP: Labeling Requirements for Products that Contain Mercury

Labeling Requirements for Products that Contain Mercury

Section 22a-619 of the Connecticut General Statutes (CGS)

What is the purpose of labeling a product that contains mercury?
The purpose of product labeling is to help consumers identify products that may contain mercury and to promote the proper disposal of the product.

Does labeling apply only to products that are offered for sale?
No. The labeling requirement also applies to products that are distributed for promotional purposes.

When will labeling for products that contain mercury be required?
Labels identifying products that contain mercury were required effective July 1, 2004.

What mercury-added products, if any, are exempt from the labeling requirements?
Refer to the Exemptions from Notification, Mercury Content Limits, Labeling, and Collection System Plan Requirements fact sheet for a list of mercury-added products that are exempt from the labeling requirement.

What must a label on a product that contains mercury look like?
A label must appear as either words or a combination of words and symbols to indicate to the buyer that mercury is present in the product and that the product should be properly disposed of or recycled in accordance with the hazardous waste provisions of the law.

For example: Hg (within a circle) and the following words "LAMP(S) INSIDE THIS PRODUCT CONTAIN MERCURY AND MUST BE RECYCLED OR DISPOSED OF ACCORDING TO LOCAL, STATE OR FEDERAL LAWS."

Labels on packages must be clearly visible prior to any sale. Labels must be affixed to the product and constructed of materials that are durable for the useful life of the product.

What are the labeling requirements for products that contain mercury?
Unless specifically noted in the matrix below, both the product and either the package or the care and use manual must be labeled. If a mercury-added product is a component of another product, the product containing the component and the component itself shall both be labeled provided such component may easily be removed from the product by the purchaser. The component is not required to be labeled if it cannot be feasibly removed from the product by the purchaser.

Type of Product

Label Required on the:

Product Care and Use Manual Package

Products containing mercury
CGS Section 22a-619(a)

Required

Required1

Required1

Products with a mercury containing component which can be feasibly removed by purchaser
CGS Section 22a-619(b)

Required for Product and Component

Required1

Required1

Button cell batteries
CGS Section 22a-619(g)(5)

Not Required

Not Required

Not Required

Digital thermometers containing a removable button cell battery
CGS Section 22a-619(g)(6)

Not Required

Required

Required

Fluorescent lights
CGS Section 22a-619(g)(7)

Required

Not Required

Required

High intensity discharge, neon, mercury vapor, high pressure sodium, and metal halide lamps
CGS Section 22a-619(g)(7)

Required

Required1

Required1

Backlighting mercury-containing lamps that cannot be feasibly removed by the purchaser/buyer
CGS Section 22a-619(g)(4)

Required2

Required2

Not Required

Mercury fever thermometers
(by prescription only)
CGS Section 22a-619(g)(2)

Not Required

Required1

Required1

Products that contain button cell batteries
CGS Section 22a-619(g)(6)

Not Required

Required

Required

Vehicles
CGS Section 22a-619(g)(3)

Required on Vehicle Door Post

Not Required

Not Required

Large Appliances
CGS Section 22a-619(g)(1)
Required Required Not Required
Luminaires3
CGS Section 22a-619(g)(9)
Not Required Not Required Not Required

1Manufacturers must label both the product and either the package or the care and use manual.
2
Manufacturers must
label either the product or the care and use manual.
3Manufacturers of luminaires not sold through retail sales channels, must provide mercury information on their websites and catalogs.

Who is responsible for labeling products that contain mercury?
The manufacturer is responsible for labeling products unless the wholesaler or retailer agrees in writing to take responsibility for implementing an alternative to the labeling requirements.

When must a purchaser be advised that a product contains mercury when purchasing by telephone?
Effective July 1, 2004, when purchasing, by telephone, a product which contains mercury, purchasers shall be clearly advised prior to the time of sale that the product contains mercury. This standard applies to all transactions in which the purchasers cannot see the label on the package or product before purchasing it.

When must a purchaser be advised that a product contains mercury when purchasing through a catalog?
Effective July 1, 2004, when ordering, through a catalog, a product which contains mercury, purchasers shall be clearly advised in writing prior to the time of sale that the product they are buying contains mercury.

What if a manufacturer cannot meet the labeling requirements?
Under limited circumstances, a manufacturer may apply to the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP) and the Interstate Mercury Education and Reduction Clearinghouse (IMERC) for an alternative to the labeling requirements.

Where must alternative labeling requests be submitted?
All documentation in support of a manufacturer, wholesaler or retailer's request for an alternative to the labeling requirements must be submitted to IMERC and DEEP. Only original documentation will be accepted; copies, faxes or electronic submissions will not be accepted. All information must be either typed or printed using black ink. Refer to the IMERC website for information on the correct form to use for requesting an alternative to the labeling requirements and submit originals to:

Northeast Waste Management Officials' Association
IMERC
129 Portland Street, Suite 602
Boston, MA 02114-2014

and

Department of Energy and Environmental Protection
Mercury Program/Tom Metzner
79 Elm Street, 4th floor
Hartford, CT 06106-5127

Under what criteria can an approval for an alternative to the labeling requirements be granted?
The commissioner may approve, deny, modify or condition a request for an alternative to the labeling requirements. If an approval is granted, it shall be for a period of not more than two years. Requests for renewals shall be submitted ninety days before the expiration of the approval. Prior to approving an alternative, the commissioner shall consult with states, Canadian Provinces, and regional government organizations to insure that the commissioner's labeling requirements are consistent with those of other jurisdictions in the region.

To be considered for an alternative to the labeling requirements, the manufacturer must show that:

  • Compliance with the labeling requirements is not feasible;
  • The proposed alternative would provide a similar level of presale notification of mercury content and instructions on proper disposal; or
  • Federal law preempts state authority over labeling.

Contact Information and Assistance

Related Fact Sheets
Mercury Definitions
Exemptions from Notification, Mercury Content Limits, Labeling, and Collection System Plan Requirements

All environmental fact sheets are designed to provide basic information and to answer general questions. You must refer to the appropriate Connecticut General Statutes for the specific definitions and statutory requirements. 

Content Last Updated on December 15, 2006

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