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EU launches consultation on limited use of mercury

BRUSSELS, Aug. 19 (Xinhua) -- The European Commission has launched an online consultation on issues related to the usage of mercury, it was announced Tuesday.

The consultation will mainly focus on areas such as the import restrictions for metallic mercury from non-parties, an export ban for certain products containing mercury and mercury use in products and processes not yet placed on the market.

The consultation provides interested citizens, public authorities, businesses and NGOs with a concise and clear understanding of the elements above and asks them for their views.

According to an EU statement, mercury is a highly toxic element used in industries such as plastics and in products such as thermometers, dental amalgam, batteries and light bulbs.

It is also released unintentionally through the burning of fossil fuels (particularly by coal-fired power plants).

Around half of the mercury currently released into the atmosphere comes from human activity.

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