Newsletter N.5 September 2021

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New Tools and Methodologies

One of the aims of the STRIKE project is to develop practical tools and advanced methodologies in support of practitioners across the compliance and enforcement chain.

Forensic tools for detection and investigation of waste and mercury crime

This activity aims to advance detection and investigation methodologies and tools, including the use of forensic analysis and new field methodologies for on-sight verification. This tool is still in the process of production, as our partners are collecting national case-studies related to detection and investigation of waste and mercury crime. If you have any information on an example of case study that you want to share, you can contact us writing to

On-site detection of mercury added products and mercury bearing wastes during inspections

The Strike project partners are currently developing a report about on-site detection of mercury added products and mercury bearing wastes during inspections. The objective of this report is to describe the development of methods for visual and analytical detection of mercury-added products and mercury bearing wastes in the field, combined with a safety guideline.

  • Mercury bearing wastes and mercury added products (MAP) are still ubiquitous. While mercury – the only pure fluid metal at room temperature – can easily be seen in some products like glass thermometers, it is more tricky for many other products, materials and wastes.

A mercury level switch. Mercury sulphide powder with the distinctive colour which was previously a common colour in artists’ paints.

Photo credits: KMK Metals Recycling Ltd. Ireland.

In general photo’s are helpful to recognize and identify mercury added products (MAP) in the field. A lot of the mercury bearing wastes collected during the STRiKE project have however no distinctive visual characteristics. To further enhance the yield of inspections, the use of field equipment is promising. During the project equipment (like a mobile XRF) was tested, that has the potential to replace sampling and chemical analysis in a laboratory. Other methods like dedicated mercury air analyzers proved superior in the fast on site detection of the presence of mercury in materials in general.

The safety guideline consists of a general applicable decision framework and is currently tested.

The final report will contain an overview with photos of mercury added products and mercury bearing wastes; options for the use of mobile field equipment to detect mercury during inspections, and a safety guideline.

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