State Mercury-Added Labeling Guidelines
Labeling Products and Packaging
The states of Connecticut, Louisiana, Maine, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New York, Rhode Island, Vermont, and Washington (lamps only) prohibit the sale of mercury-added products unless they have a label indicating that the product contains mercury and information concerning proper disposal. The label must meet certain specified standards (standard labeling) regarding wording, size, location, visibility, and durability unless, the states have approved an alternative labeling to standard labeling that allows the manufacturer to vary from one or more of the specified standards. The purpose of labeling mercury-added products is to:
What Products Require Labeling?
The labeling laws apply to any product that contains mercury, a mercury compound, or a component containing mercury if the mercury is intentionally added to the product (or component) for any reason. The types of mercury-added products that are regulated by individual states may vary. Mercury-added pharmaceuticals approved by the United States Food and Drug Administration are exempt from state labeling requirements.
The labeling requirements apply to mercury-added products sold at retail and wholesale outlets, through catalogs, and over the internet.
Who Must Label?
The manufacturer of the mercury-added product presumably is in the best position to label the product. However, importers and distributors may assume this responsibility if they choose. Retailers cannot "knowingly" sell a mercury-added product in CT, LA, MA, ME, MN, NY, RI, VT, and WA unless it is properly labeled, but are not required by law to affix labels to the product. Retailers, importers, and distributors of mercury-added products should contact the manufacturer to determine if it has met the states' labeling requirements.
What are the "Standard Labeling" requirements for mercury-added products?
Labeling requirements generally mandate that a mercury-added product has a visible and durable label that indicates that it contains mercury and should be managed or disposed of properly. The states also require that the product packaging bear a label that is visible prior to purchase indicating that it contains mercury and should be managed or disposed of properly. A standard label is one that meets all the following specifications:
Other State Labeling Laws
Maryland and Oregon also have mercury-added product labeling laws. These states are not members of IMERC.
Alternative Labeling Plans
To request approval for mercury-added product alternative labeling or renew a plan previously approved by the Vermont Department of Environmental Conservation, complete the Alternative Labeling Request Form and Product Table available for download below.
IMERC will facilitate review and discussion of the proposed alternatives to standard labeling by representatives from the participating states, as appropriate. This joint review process will help ensure that alternative labeling plans submitted for approval by a manufacturer will meet the labeling requirements in all IMERC-member states.
For more information about labeling mercury-added products, including information about alternative labeling requests, contact