Mercury batteries: why they were popular - and banned

No mercury added

Today, there is a worldwide ban on mercury in batteries. A good measure, given their high toxicity and harmful effects to the environment. But why were mercury batteries used in the first place? And which “no mercury added” batteries are a proper replacement? Read on to find out more.

A brief history of mercury batteries

Whereas mercury batteries were invented over a hundred years ago, they weren’t very popular until the 1940s. Mercury batteries were popular in mobile devices during and after World War II. They were produced in both small and larger sizes: commonly used in watches, radios, and remote controls.

They became very popular because of their highly stable voltage - around 1.3 Volts. Their capacity was also significantly greater compared to batteries of the same size. Over the years, this has made them especially desirable for photographers, as they reliably give off stable power during exposure - resulting in crisp, beautiful images.

Worldwide ban on mercury in batteries

In order to reduce harmful effects on the environment, measures for a more sustainable future have to be taken. Mercury is, in all applications, very dangerous to the environment, especially when it’s disposed incorrectly. Therefore, Panasonic is taking its responsibility and has stopped using mercury in batteries altogether.

Tip: read more about the measures Panasonic is taking to battle climate change.

Alternatives to mercury batteries

With no mercury added, is there a reliable replacement for the stable power and high capacity of mercury batteries?

If stability is what you need, Panasonic silver oxide batteries are your way to go. These coin-sized batteries provide a very constant discharge - making them ideal for small high drain devices. As many - now vintage - cameras were made to only work with a stable (mercury) battery, the Panasonic silver oxide coin is a perfect replacement for great photos.

If you need a larger, AA-sized alkaline battery with no mercury added, Panasonic EVOLTA NEO provides an excellent and even better alternative for high-drain devices. Their high capacity makes them perfect when you need to enjoy both high- or low-drain for a long time.

Discover our EVOLTA NEO batteries