Battery Directive (EU Directive 2006/66/EC)
What is Battery Directive?
EU Directive 2006/66/EC on waste batteries and accumulators (the “battery directive”) is intended to minimize the impact of waste batteries and accumulators on the environment and on human health. Member states will have transposed this directive into national law by 26 September 2008.
The battery directive specifies that:
What do the markings mean?
How do you remove the battery or accumulator?
Not all batteries or accumulators can be removed by the end user. Consult the product information to determine whether or not you should attempt to remove batteries or accumulators.
If your product does not have the separate collection symbol, then it does not contain batteries or accumulators you need to remove.
The risks and your role in reducing them
Some batteries or accumulators contain toxic metals that pose serious risks to human health and to the environment. When required, the product marking includes chemical symbols that indicate the presence toxic metals: Pb for lead, Hg for mercury, and Cd for cadmium.
Cadmium poisoning can result in cancer of the lungs and prostate gland. Chronic effects include kidney damage, pulmonary emphysema, and bone diseases such as osteomalcia and osteoporosis. Cadmium may also cause anemia, discoloration of the teeth, and loss of smell (anosmia).
Lead is poisonous in all forms. It accumulates in the body, so each exposure is significant. Ingestion and inhalation of lead can cause severe damage to human health. Risks include brain damage, convulsions, malnutrition, and sterility.
Mercury creates hazardous vapors at room temperature. Exposure to high concentrations of mercury vapor can cause a variety of severe symptoms. Risks include chronic inflammation of mouth and gums, personality change, nervousness, fever, and rashes.