The Canadian federal government has proposed a regulation under the Canadian Environmental Protection Act which would result in a ban on the manufacture and importation of most products containing mercury.

The ban would include such products as batteries, thermostats, switches and relays, thermometers, and tire balancing products.

Where there is no viable alternative (such as fluorescent light bulbs and certain other lamps), the amount of mercury in such products would be limited by regulation. In a few cases (such as dental amalgams and scientific instruments) there would be no restrictions.

The government estimates that the cost of complying with the ban over the next 20 years would be approximately $10.1 million. It also estimates that the ban would result in a reduction of 90,000 kilograms of mercury entering the marketplace and a reduction of 54,000 kilograms of mercury entering the environment.

The proposed regulations are open for comment until April 26th