Law:Division 12.2. Products Containing Toxic Metals (California)

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Contents

Chapter 1. General

Ca Codes (prc:15000-15001) Public Resources Code Section 15000-15001



15000. This division shall be known, and may be cited, as the Dry Cell Battery Management Act.


15001. The Legislature hereby finds and declares as follows: (a) On the basis of available scientific and medical evidence, exposure to toxic materials, including mercury, cadmium, and lead, is of significant concern to human health and safety and to the environment. (b) The presence of toxic metals in certain dry cell batteries is of special concern, in light of the substantial quantity of used dry cell and rechargeable batteries that are discarded annually, and the potential health and environmental consequences associated with that disposal. (c) It is in the public interest to reduce or eliminate the quantity and toxicity of metals in dry cell batteries, to recycle or properly dispose of rechargeable batteries which contain toxic metals, and to educate the public concerning the collection, recycling, and proper disposal of those batteries. (d) Manufacturers and dealers of rechargeable batteries should be encouraged to promote the recycling and proper disposal of used rechargeable batteries through retail displays and collection programs. (e) The use of uniform labeling requirements for rechargeable batteries, rechargeable consumer products, and product packaging will assist in battery collection and recycling, and thus benefit human health and safety and the environment.


Chapter 2. Definitions

Ca Codes (prc:15002-15012) Public Resources Code Section 15002-15012



15002. The definitions in this chapter govern the construction of this division.


15003. "Battery pack" means any combination of dry cell batteries containing one or more rechargeable batteries that is usually assembled for a particular application and commonly has wire leads, terminals, and dielectric housing.

15004. "Board" means the California Integrated Waste Management Board.

15005. "Dry cell battery" means any type of enclosed device or sealed container consisting of one or more voltaic or galvanic cells, electrically connected to produce electric energy, composed of lead, lithium, manganese, mercury, mercuric oxide, silver oxide, cadmium, zinc, copper, or other metals, or any combination thereof, of any shape, including, but not limited to, button, coin, cylindrical, or rectangular, and of a liquid starved or gel electrolyte, that is designed for commercial industrial, medical, institutional, or household use, including any alkaline, manganese, lithium, mercuric oxide, silver oxide, zinc-air, or zinc-carbon battery, or any rechargeable battery.


15006. "Easily removable," with respect to a rechargeable battery or battery pack, means that the rechargeable battery or battery pack is either detachable or readily removable from a consumer product by a consumer with the use of common household tools at the end of the life of the product, the rechargeable battery or battery pack.


15007. "Manufacturer" means any person who manufactures dry cell batteries, rechargeable batteries or battery packs, or rechargeable consumer products.

15008. "Mercuric oxide button cell battery" means a battery which contains mercuric oxide electrodes, resembles buttons in size and shape, and is used in consumer products such as hearing aids.


15009. "Mercuric oxide battery" means a battery containing mercuric oxide electrodes, except that mercuric oxide button cells are excluded from this definition.


15010. (a) "Rechargeable battery" means any dry cell battery containing an electrode composed of cadmium or lead, or any combination thereof, of any shape that is designed for reuse, and is capable of being recharged after repeated uses. (b) "Rechargeable battery" does not include either of the following: (1) Any dry cell battery that is used as the principal power source for transportation, including, but not limited to, automobiles, motorcycles, or boats. (2) Any battery that is used only as a backup power source for memory or program instruction storage, timekeeping, or any similar purpose that requires uninterrupted electrical power in order to function if the primary energy supply fails or fluctuates momentarily.


15011. "Rechargeable consumer product" means any product, including any laptop computer or cordless electric tool or appliance, which, when sold at retail, contains, or is sold with, a rechargeable battery as its primary power supply, and that is commonly used for personal or household purposes. A rechargeable consumer product does not include remanufactured products.


15012. "Remanufactured product" means a rechargeable consumer product manufactured prior to July 1, 1994, which has been returned to the manufacturer for refurbishment and either returned to the consumer or resold.


Chapter 3. Removal And Labeling Requirements

Ca Codes (prc:15013-15018) Public Resources Code Section 15013-15018



15013. (a) On and after January 1, 1995, no person shall sell or offer for sale in this state any rechargeable consumer product unless the product meets all of the following requirements: (1) The rechargeable battery is easily removable from the rechargeable consumer product or is contained in a battery pack that is easily removable from, the product. (2) The rechargeable consumer product and the rechargeable battery are labeled in accordance with subdivision (b). (3) The rechargeable battery, battery pack, or rechargeable consumer product, if the product has a nonremovable rechargeable battery, has a brand name affixed to it. (4) The instruction manual for the rechargeable consumer product includes information regarding the proper recycling or disposal of the used rechargeable battery. (b) On and after July 1, 1994, each rechargeable battery, consumer product package containing a rechargeable battery or battery pack, and the package for each such item, which is sold or offered for sale in this state, shall meet all of the following requirements: (1) Be labeled in a conspicuous manner that is visible to consumers. (2) Include the chemical name or the standard abbreviation for the chemical composition of the battery or battery pack. (3) Contain the following statement: (A) On each easily removable battery or easily removable battery pack: "NICKEL-CADMIUM BATTERY. MUST BE RECYCLED OR DISPOSED OF PROPERLY." OR "SEALED LEAD BATTERY. MUST BE RECYCLED OR DISPOSED OF PROPERLY." (B) On each rechargeable consumer product, granted an exemption pursuant to Section 15014, without an easily removable battery or battery pack: "CONTAINS NICKEL-CADMIUM BATTERY. BATTERY MUST BE RECYCLED OR DISPOSED OF PROPERLY." OR "CONTAINS SEALED LEAD BATTERY. BATTERY MUST BE RECYCLED OR DISPOSED OF PROPERLY." (C) On the packaging of each rechargeable consumer product, rechargeable battery, or battery pack, unless the specified label is clearly visible through the packaging: "CONTAINS NICKEL-CADMIUM BATTERY. BATTERY MUST BE RECYCLED OR DISPOSED OF PROPERLY." OR "CONTAINS SEALED LEAD BATTERY. BATTERY MUST BE RECYCLED OR DISPOSED OF PROPERLY." (4) The label and messages specified in paragraphs (1), (2), and (3) shall use contrasting colors to differentiate the label message and background to enhance readability. (5) No political subdivision of this state may enact or enforce any environmental labeling requirement for a rechargeable battery or battery pack, or a rechargeable consumer product, that is not identical to the labeling requirements contained in this subdivision or any regulations adopted by the board pursuant to this subdivision. (c) The board may adopt regulations that require substantially similar labeling requirements for rechargeable batteries with chemistries that are different from those covered by subdivision (a) and the battery packs and products containing those batteries. Any regulations shall be adopted, amended, or repealed in accordance with Chapter 3.5 (commencing with Section 11340) of Part 1 of Division 3 of Title 2 of the Government Code. (d) Any violation of this section is a misdemeanor.


15014. (a) Any manufacturer of, or any manufacturer trade organization with respect to, any rechargeable battery or rechargeable consumer product may submit an application to the board for an exemption from the requirements of paragraph (1) of subdivision (a) of Section 51013 in accordance with the procedures prescribed in subdivision (b). Within 60 days of receipt of an application for an exemption, the board shall either approve or deny the request. The exemption shall be issued for a period that is determined to be appropriate by the board, but shall not exceed two years. (b) The application for an exemption shall include both of the following: (1) A statement of the specified basis for the exemption. (2) The name, business address, and telephone number of the applicant. (c) The board shall grant the exemption if the board finds that the manufacturer has been unable to commence manufacture of the rechargeable consumer product in compliance with this chapter and with an equivalent level of product performance without causing either of the following: (1) Danger to human health and safety or to the environment. (2) Violation of requirements for approvals from governmental agencies or the Underwriters Laboratories or a similar widely recognized private standard-setting organization. (d) The board may, by regulation, establish an application fee in an amount sufficient to offset the cost of processing requests for exemptions. (e) A manufacturer or manufacturer trade organization granted an exemption may apply for an extension of the exemption in accordance with the requirements and procedures in subdivisions (b) and (c). However, in considering an extension of any exemption, the board shall evaluate whether other rechargeable consumer product manufacturers have developed technology or methods that permit access to the rechargeable battery in the same or similar type application. The board may grant up to three extensions of not more than two years each after the date of the original exemption.


15016. Any action solely to increase the recycling of rechargeable batteries or battery packs by any person or entity that affects the types or quantities being recycled, or the cost and structure of any return program, pursuant to this chapter is not a violation of the Cartwright Act (Chapter 2 (commencing with Section 16700) of Part 2 of Division 7 of the Business and Professions Code) or the Unfair Practices Act (Chapter 4 (commencing with Section 17000) of Part 2 of Division 7 of the Business and Professions Code).


15018. For purposes of carrying out the collection, storage, transportation, and recycling of used rechargeable batteries or consumer products containing used rechargeable batteries, persons involved in returning used rechargeable batteries or consumer products containing used rechargeable batteries to a facility for recycling or proper disposal shall be subject to Section 25201 or 25216.1 of the Health and Safety Code or any successor section.


Chapter 4. Mercury In Batteries

Ca Codes (prc:15020-15024) Public Resources Code Section 15020-15024



15020. No person shall sell any dry cell battery manufactured on and after January 1, 1994, for household use in which the mercury content, by weight, exceeds the following limits: (a) In an alkaline battery, 0.025 percent. (b) In a carbon-zinc battery, 0.0 percent intentionally introduced mercury, as distinguished from mercury which may be incidentally present in other materials.

15021. On and after January 1, 1994, no person shall manufacture or sell any mercuric oxide button cell battery of any type or for any use.

15022. No person shall sell any alkaline manganese battery manufactured on or after January 1, 1996, if the battery contains any intentionally introduced mercury, as distinguished from mercury which may be incidentally present in other materials. However, the mercury content in alkaline manganese button cell batteries shall not exceed 25 milligrams of mercury per button cell.


15023. No person shall sell any zinc-carbon battery manufactured on or after January 1, 1994, if the battery contains any intentionally introduced mercury, as distinguished from mercury which may be incidentally present in other materials.


15024. Any violation of this chapter is a misdemeanor.


Chapter 5. Consumer Products Containing Mercury

Ca Codes (prc:15025-15029) Public Resources Code Section 15025-15029



15025. For purposes of this article, the following terms have the following meanings: (a) "Mercury-added novelty" means a mercury-added product intended mainly for personal or household enjoyment or adornment. A "mercury-added novelty" includes, but is not limited to, any item intended for use as a practical joke, figurine, adornment, toy, game, card, ornament, yard statue or figure, candle, jewelry, holiday decoration, and item of apparel, including footwear. "Mercury-added novelty" does not include a product that contains no mercury other than in a mercury-added button cell battery. (b) "Mercury fever thermometer" means a mercury-added product that is used for measuring body temperature. Mercury fever thermometer does not include a digital thermometer that uses mercury-added button cell batteries. (c) "School" means any school used for the purpose of the education of more than 12 children in kindergarten or any of grades 1 to 12, inclusive.


15026. (a) On and after July 1, 2002, no person, other than a person licensed pursuant to Article 9 (commencing with Section 4140) of Chapter 9 of Division 2 of the Business and Professions Code, may sell at retail, or otherwise supply, a mercury fever thermometer to a consumer or patient in this state. A mercury fever thermometer may be sold at retail, or otherwise supplied to a consumer or patient only upon the prescription of a physician, dentist, veterinarian, or podiatrist. A mercury fever thermometer sold at retail shall be accompanied by clear written instructions concerning careful handling to avoid breakage and proper cleanup should breakage occur. (b) A violation of subdivision (a) is a violation of the requirements of Chapter 9 (commencing with Section 4000) of Division 2 of the Business and Professions Code and the California State Board of Pharmacy shall enforce the requirements of subdivision (a) in accordance with Chapter 9.

15027. (a) On and after January 1, 2003, no person shall manufacture, offer for final sale or use, or distribute for promotional purposes in this state, a mercury-added novelty, if the manufacturer, seller, or distributor knows, or has reason to know, that the product contains mercury. A person who manufactures or distributes any mercury-added novelty shall notify each retailer regarding the requirements of this section and how to dispose of the remaining inventory in accordance with Chapter 6.5 (commencing with Section 25100) of Division 20 of the Health and Safety Code. (b) A violation of subdivision (a) is a violation of Article 2 (commencing with Section 108550) of Chapter 5 of Part 3 of Division 104 of the Health and Safety Code and, for purposes of that article, "mercury-added novelties" shall be deemed to be toys. The State Department of Health Services may take action against mercury-added novelties in the same manner as it is authorized to take action against toys, except that a violation of subdivision (a) is a misdemeanor punishable by a fine not to exceed one thousand dollars ($1,000) for each violation, or by imprisonment in the county jail for a period not to exceed one year, or by both that fine and imprisonment.

15028. No school in this state shall purchase, for use in the classroom, elemental mercury, mercury compounds, or mercury-added laboratory measurement devices, chemicals, and related materials, except measuring devices used in school laboratories for which the school district determines no adequate substitute exists.


15029. No person may sell or offer for sale in this state a vehicle manufactured on or after January 1, 2005, that contains a mercury-containing motor vehicle light switch, as defined in Section 25214.5 of the Health and Safety Code, mounted on the hood or trunk.


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