Awareness of proper management of mercury containing products and development of mercury free al-ternatives has over the last decades emerged in many industrialized countries, where mercury was earlier used with no or few restrictions. Recent reviews have shown that suitable alternatives are readily available for most mercury applications in products and processes. This indicates that there is presently a real opportunity to minimize the use of most mercury containing products, and thereby markedly minimize mercury releases. In spite of reductions in mercury consumption in many countries, a
number of applications are still being used on a routine basis with consequent mercury releases through their life cycle - production, use and disposal/recycling - with resulting needs for effort and investment in control initiatives. Many mercury containing products have long lives, meaning that proper life cycle management with separate collection and specific waste treatment will continue to be important even several decades after a potential cessation of introducing mercury containing products on the market. Available evidence also indicates that in some parts of the world, where the pressure for mercury substitution has been weaker, mercury containing products are still widely used. This presentation discusses the need for continued efforts addressing intentional mercury use in products and processes on a global market, and provides - based on an expert assessment - the authors input to a global "Mercury substitution priority work-list" taking into consideration recent reviews of alternatives and examples of existing agreements and
national legislation where prioritizations are made. This is done in the hope of initiating and informing a discussion of a common vision for mercury substitution, bridging national and regional differences. The substitution priority list is a contribution to current global discussions of measures to reduce mercury releases.
2006. 574- p.