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Heavy metals in vehicles (2000)

Starting from September 1999, Ökopol has been performing a study on heavy metals in vehicles which was commissioned by DG Environment of the European Commission.

The objectives of this study include

  • the generation of a reliable information basis, concerning the presence and quantity (including market trends) of heavy metal containing parts and components in vehicle categories M1 and N1;

  • the analysis whether technical alternatives to the use of heavy metals (lead, mercury, cadmium and hexavalent chromium) in vehicles exist;

  • the examination of the technical, environmental and economic implications of these alternatives;

  • the examination of technical options for separation of heavy metal containing parts before shredding, description of technical recycling options, and the analysis of their economic implications.

Based on some preliminary research in the Internet and in recent literature, we established contacts with numerous automobile manufacturers and suppliers of parts and components who are relevant in the context of heavy metal applications in vehicle categories M1 and N1.

Concerning the specific applications of heavy metals to be examined in detail, the original list of Annex 2 of the Draft Directive on End-of-life Vehicles in its version of 21 June 1999 [97/0194(COD)] formed the basis of our work.

With evolving discussions, a number of modifications and additional applications of heavy metals came into focus with the recommendations (of 09 Nov.1999) of the EP rapporteur and the derogations adopted by the Environmental Committee (13 January 2000) to be proposed for the second Parliament reading.

The structure of this report is oriented towards the structure of Annex II of the draft ELV directive:

  • Lead as an alloying elementchapter 2.1
  • Lead as a metal in componentschapter 2.2
  • Hexavalent Chromiumchapter 2.3
  • Mercurychapter 2.4
  • Cadmiumchapter 2.5

The full text of the study is available in PDF format (~260K).

A second study 'Heavy Metals in Vehicles II'  (2001) (pdf~840K) is also available.