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  • 1. Cadmium inpower tool batteriesThe possibility and consequences of a banreport 5901 january 2009

2. Cadmium in power tool batteries The possibility and consequences of a banTHE SWEDISH ENVIRONMENTALPROTECTION AGENCY 3. Orders Order tel: +46 8505 933 40Order fax: + 46 8505 933 99 E-mail: natur@cm.sePostal address: CM Gruppen AB, Box 110 93, 161 11 Bromma, SwedenInternet: www.naturvardsverket.se/bokhandeln The Swedish Environmental Protection AgencyTel + 46 8698 10 00, fax + 46 820 29 25E-mail: registrator@naturvardsverket.sePostal address: The Swedish Environmental Protection Agency, SE-106 48 Stockholm Internet: www.naturvardsverket.seISBN 978-91-620- 5901-9.pdfISSN 0282-7298 Digital publication The Swedish Environmental Protection Agency 2009Printed by: CM Gruppen ABCoverpicture: Pr ngerheim 4. SWEDISH ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY Report 5901 Cadmium in power tool batteries1 PrefaceIn 2006, the EU established a Battery Directive that banned the use of cadmium inbatteries when an alternative was available. However at the time they were not ableto agree upon if an acceptable alternative for power tools was available which is acondition for replacing NiCd in these batteries. The major part of this report isconsequently spent comparing the various types of batteries that can be used inpower tools. The report also covers other consequences that a ban on cadmiumcould be expected to cause.This report has been prepared in response to government instructions for use asbackground information for the work of the EC Commission on the decision as towhether cadmium is to be allowed in power tool batteries. This process will beginin 2009 and the EC Commission will take a decision on this issue in 2010.stersund, November 2008Implementation and Enforcement Department3 5. SWEDISH ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCYReport 5901 Cadmium in power tool batteries 4 6. SWEDISH ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY Report 5901 Cadmium in power tool batteriesContents1 PREFACE 32 SUMMARY72.1 Can NiCd in power tools be replaced72.2 Easier to replace NiCd in power tools today72.3 Arguments for replacing NiCd 83 BACKGROUND93.1 The task93.2 Aim 93.3 Method93.4 The Battery Directive and positions on cadmium 103.5 Scope and delimitations103.6 Terminology114 CONSEQUENCES OF A BAN ON CADMIUM IN BATTERIES FOR POWERTOOLS124.1 Advantages and disadvantages of different types of battery 12 4.1.1 NiCd12 4.1.2 Li-Ion12 4.1.3 NiMH13 4.1.4 Facts about batteries 134.2 Technical consequences 13 4.2.1 Development 13 4.2.2 Financial situation 14 4.2.3 Energy losses when charging 15 4.2.4 Weight16 4.2.5 Capacity, memory effect and management16 4.2.6 Temperature 16 4.2.7 Summary of battery characteristics174.3 Other consequences 17 4.3.1 Stakeholders17 4.3.2 Consequences of the use of cadmium195 EXPERIENCE FROM SWEDEN AND THE NORDIC COUNTRIES215.1 Environmental charges on NiCd in Sweden215.2 Frequency, use and collection of NiCd batteries in Sweden235.3 NiCd in Norway 246 SUMMARY OF INTERVIEWS267 CONCLUSIONS AND DISCUSSION 275 7. SWEDISH ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCYReport 5901 Cadmium in power tool batteries8 REFERENCES29Annexes Summary of questionnaire results31 6 8. SWEDISH ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCYReport 5901 Cadmium in power tool batteries2 Summary2.1 Can NiCd in power tools be replacedThe Battery Directive (2006/66/EC) contains regulations concerning a ban on theuse of cadmium in batteries. The decision as to whether cadmium is to be allowedin batteries for power tools has been postponed till 2010. This report will providebackground material on which to base this decision.The Swedish Environmental Protection Agency has been tasked by governmentto study whether it is possible, and what the consequences would be to, fully orpartially, removing the derogation for cadmium in batteries that applied accordingto Article 4.3 of the European Parliament and Councils Directive 2006/66/EC,especially for cordless power tools. This study is to be carried out using an EUperspective and must consider the Swedish experience of replacing NiCd (nickelcadmium batteries) with a more environmentally sound alternative. It must bepossible to use this report within the review of the Directive that the ECCommission is expected to initiate in 2009.2.2 Easier to replace NiCd in power toolstodayEU, UN and WHO are in agreement that cadmium may cause considerable,damaging effects to the environment and to health. The EU has stated inconnection with the review of the Battery Directive that if there are alternatives tocadmium for batteries available, the substance should be banned in this context.Swedish experience shows that there are currently competitive alternatives to NiCdbatteries for power tools, something that could not be determined when theDirective was initially negotiated. During the last few years developments have moved very rapidly, primarily asconcerns Li-Ion batteries (lithium ion batteries) that are low weight, have highcapacity level and a competitive price. Today these batteries, together with NiMH(nickel metal hydride batteries), are fully acceptable alternatives to NiCd (nickelcadmium batteries) for power tools. Professional users want lightweight tools thatare strong and lie well in the hand. Workers who use cordless power tools on aregular basis often have no idea which type of batteries they have in their tools. Forprivate, hobby carpenters who do not use their tools on a daily basis then NiMH isa good alternative to NiCd. Table 1 below shows a comparison between thedifferent types of batteries available for power tools.7 9. SWEDISH ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY Report 5901 Cadmium in power tool batteriesNiCd NiMH Li-IonPurchase pricecheapest medium most expensivePrice per kWh medium most expensive cheapestWeightheaviest medium lightest1Memory effect yesmarginal noCapacityleastmedium greatestFor professionals OK OK bestFor hobby users good good uncertainTemperaturebestgood goodTable 1. A comparison of the functions of the different battery types.2.3 Arguments for replacing NiCdThere are currently a handfull manufacturers of NiCd for power tools inEurope. These will be affected by a ban as will the mining companies whosupply the primary cadmium raw material. Other stakeholders regardthemselves as affected on a secondary level only. Batteries are currently responsible for a little more than 75 percent of the use ofcadmium in the world. A considerable amount of this cadmium is used in batteriesfor cordless power tools. Even if the collection of spent batteries lives up to therequirements of the Battery Directive which is 45 percent collected by 2016, thismeans that more than half of all the cadmium in portable batteries will not becollected and dealt with in a secure fashion. The consequence of a ban would bethat the cadmium leakage into the environment from spent batteries would decreaseand would, in the long term, cease.1The memory effect is primarily connected to NiCd but not all NiCd batteries are affected by thephenomenon. Modern batteries often have a structure that counteracts the crystal effect andconsequently also the memory effect. 8 10. SWEDISH ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY Report 5901 Cadmium in power tool batteries3 Background3.1 The taskIn connection with its Government Directives for 2008, the SwedishEnvironmental Protection Agency was given the following task by the Ministry ofthe Environment:Cadmium in batteriesThe Swedish Environmental Protection Agency will study whether it possible, andwhat the consequences would be to, from an EU perspective, fully or partiallyremove the derogation on cadmium in batteries. This derogation is stated in Article4.3 of the European Parliament and Councils Directive 2006/66/EC from 6September 2006 on batteries and accumulators and spent batteries andaccumulators and on the cancellation of Directive 91/157/EEC, especially asconcerns cordless electrical power tools. The study is to be carried out from an EU perspective, taking into considerationthe Swedish experience of replacing nickel cadmium batteries with moreenvironmentally sound alternatives. It must be possible to use this report in thereview of the Directive that the EC Commission is expected to initiate in 2009. Thereport is to be submitted by 31 December 2008 at the latest (Ministry of theEnvironment 2007).3.2 AimIn 2009 the EC Commission is expected to initiate a review of the derogation forcadmium batteries in power tools. The aim of this report is to provide backgroundinformation for this review. Important target groups for this information includeconsultants and decision-makers within the EU who, in various ways, participate inthe work of the review. Consequently it is proposed that this report form the basisof dissemination of results outside Sweden through the establishment of a specialCommunication Plan.3.3 MethodInformation has been primarily obtained from reports and websites (please refer toreference list for further information). In addition a questionnaire was sent to alarge number of stakeholders (please refer to Annex 2). The conclusions drawnfrom the questionnaire have then been further explored via telephone interviews(please refer to Chapter 6). In addition to interviews, discussions have been heldwith several different stakeholders within this field, often concerning specificissues discussed in the report. 9 11. SWEDISH ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCYReport 5901 Cadmium in power tool batteries3.4 The Battery Directive and positions oncadmiumDirective 2006/66/EC on batteries regulates, among other areas, the use ofcadmium in batteries. Article 4 of the Directive forbids the use of cadmium inbatteries for household appliances. However the decision was postponed asconcerns cordless power tools and instead the Directive states that the ECCommission will take a decision in 2010 as to whether cadmium is to be permittedin power tool batteries. For industrial batteries, medical equipmen