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Vehicle Recycling General Permit Information

Mercury Switches and Polychlorinated Biphyenyls (PCBs)

Mercury Switches are commonly found under the hood for lighting.

Mercury is a highly toxic metal often found in several vehicle applications. Once released into the environment, mercury cannot be recovered.

Mercury switches are often used in under the hood and truck lighting, four-wheel drive anti-lock braking systems and high intensity discharge (HID) head and tail lights.

Remove all mercury switches from vehicles in your facility's "Vehicle Fluid Draining and Dismantling Area" and store them in a leak-proof, labeled, closed container in your facility's "Vehicle Parts Storage Area".

PCBs were used in vehicles built prior to 1979. The use of PCB material was limited to brake fluid, coolant and oil manufacturing. All fluids must be removed from vehicles as described in the BMP for the Fluid Draining and Dismantling Area. Mercury switches and batteries must also be removed from vehicles prior to leaving the Fluid Draining and Dismantling Area.

Mercury is a liquid metal and is often used in industrial applications.

PCBs were often used in coolant and dielectric applications before being banned by US Congress in 1979.


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This website is for guidance purposes only. Please refer to your permit authorization for specific information.

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Last Updated: September 29, 2015