ILA Blog

Does the left hand know what the right hand is doing?

 
Businesses welcome good regulation, but sometimes large organisations such as the EU are faced with the left hand not always being aware what the right hand is doing.
 
That’s the situation we face with the latest bid to use the REACH chemical regulations to, in effect, start a process which could eventually lead to the banning of lead as a metal.
 
This is the aim of a proposal put forward by EU member state Sweden to add lead metal to the REACH candidate list, which could see lead facing authorisation for all its uses in Europe with the overall objective to drive substitution with another substance or technology where technically and economically feasible alternatives are available.
 
It would be a highly retrograde step with unintended consequences affecting our day to day lives.
 
The thing is, lead is already highly regulated and tightly managed in Europe. It is an essential metal used in millions of batteries which support vital everyday products and services used by the 500 million people who live and work across the continent.
 
Lead batteries provide power for cars and lorries including start-stop vehicles which reduce toxic emissions, and are used to provide back-up power for everything from hospitals to telecommunications systems and computer networks.
 
Attempt to ban lead metal could have unintended consequences
 
Meanwhile, advanced lead batteries are increasingly being used for energy storage from renewables including solar and wind farms.
 
And every electric vehicle has a back-up lead battery – powering the sophisticated battery management systems, computer controls, airbags and other essential power back-up. 
 
So, attempts to ban it are misguided and potentially highly damaging for our social and economic infrastructure.
 
There are existing Regulations to minimise lead exposure in the workplace and the environment, which we’d be happy to tighten in line with industry best practice, and the general public are protected by restrictions that prevent the marketing of lead containing products that could present a risk to health.
 
And lead batteries are one of the most recycled consumer products in the EU – with 99% collection and recycling rates.
 
Yes, we know lead is a toxic substance but it’s already highly regulated and companies using it are consistently looking for ways of reducing worker exposures and any emissions from their manufacturing site.
 
We cannot innovate and move towards a greener, decarbonised Europe by banning a substance that plays a pivotal role in energy storage solutions that will be required to meet this challenge.
 
That way the law of unintended consequences spells disaster for our economy and our society. And that is why the EU’s regulators must resist attempts to ban all uses of lead. 
 
 

ILA Blog


Innovation is the key to tackling climate change - 03/12/2018

By Dr Alistair Davidson AS politicians and experts gather in Poland to consider how to tackle global warming, battery experts are continuing to see how innovation … Continue Reading

Microgrid experiment is part of global battery energy storage bid to boost electrification - 09/11/2018

By Dr Alistair Davidson ON a university campus in rural Missouri, a partnership project between industry and academia is paving the way for homes to adopt … Continue Reading

Lead batteries provide the blueprint for circular economy and sustainability goals - 31/10/2018

By Dr Alistair Davidson Today we celebrate World Cities Day, a UN designated day for the recognition and celebration of urbanisation worldwide, with the motto ‘Better … Continue Reading

The European Battery Alliance is one year old; it is time to embrace all battery technologies - 15/10/2018

By Dr Andy Bush   This month marks the one-year anniversary of the European Battery Alliance (EBA). With energy storage in Europe increasing by 49% in 2017, … Continue Reading

How lead batteries help achieve a greener world - 25/09/2018

Dr Alistair Davidson Last week, Zero Emissions Day focused the world’s attention on the goal of reducing emissions and encourages and celebrates opportunities to achieve this … Continue Reading

Solar power and lead batteries energise the Navajo Nation - 23/08/2018

Dr Alistair Davidson In one of the most sun-drenched regions of North America, ALABC member company Crown Battery is helping deliver a sustainable, renewable energy storage … Continue Reading

The EU is short-circuiting its battery plans - 27/06/2018

Dr Andy Bush ONE of the most high-profile EU Commissioners (and forthcoming candidate for the EU presidency) Maroš Šefčovič, has been in Washington D.C., US, speaking … Continue Reading

A plan for all seasons - 21/05/2018

Dr Andy Bush   THE vast legislative juggernaut that is the EU moved up a gear this week with the latest announcement of its package of measures … Continue Reading

Our man in Colombia - 15/05/2018

Brian Wilson   CALI is a thriving city in the north-west of a South American country once renowned for its reputation for drug cartels and conflict.   Times have … Continue Reading

Letter from America: the heat is on - 10/05/2018

Dr Andy Bush   I HAVE spent a week deep in the Arizona desert with the US’s leading battery manufacturers discussing the opportunities and threats facing the … Continue Reading

Revolutionary spirit energises Boston - 02/05/2018

Dr Alistair Davidson   AS the birthplace of the American revolution it was fitting that Boston, Massachusetts, should host a conference about a very different, but no … Continue Reading

Something fishy’s going on in Sweden - 25/04/2018

Dr Andy Bush   The European Union is currently consulting on a proposal which could, if supported, restrict the use of lead metal in products.   This would be … Continue Reading

Follow the star in the East - 03/04/2018

Dr Alistair Davidson   SAUDI ARABIA has signalled another dramatic step in its transformation from being an oil state to a renewable energy empire, by investing $200billion … Continue Reading

A bright future for lead - 29/03/2018

Dr Andy Bush   I spoke at two conferences last week, one organised by analysts from the commodities group CRU, the other an event for Metal Bulletin. … Continue Reading

Lead batteries: essential energy for a greener world - 16/03/2018

Dr Andy Bush   The huge increase in demand for safe and reliable batteries to store energy from renewable sources such as solar and wind heralds a … Continue Reading

China forges ahead in energy storage using advanced lead batteries - 15/03/2018

Dr Alistair Davidson   One of my early impressions as I tour China’s vast industrial heartlands is the country’s growing demand for electricity from renewable sources to … Continue Reading
Steve%20Binks

Please complete the following details to download the Lead BLM Tool