Frequent Questions

The definition of mercury-containing equipment (MCE) indicates that the presence of elemental mercury in equipment must be integral to its function. What is meant by ?integral to its function??

In this rule,  for elemental mercury to be integral to the function of equipment, the mercury must be part of the function of the device. If the mercury is in the device accidentally, or the device has been contaminated by an external source of mercury, the device would not be eligible for management as a universal waste.

For the most part, in these devices, the mercury is a relatively small amount of the complete piece of equipment, is encapsulated in some way in an ampule or other housing, and is used for delicate measuring of temperature or pressure or for completing an electrical circuit (70 FR 45508, 45512; August 5, 2005).

The August 5, 2005, Federal Register is available at the following URL:

This guidance represents clarification of the federal regulations. Since most Ssates are authorized to implement the federal regulations, you should contact your state environmental agency for guidance on MCE. State web sites are located at the following URL:
Have more questions? Submit a request