Regulating the next Bach

…under a rule to curb hazardous substances in electrical products, Europe is about to restrict the centuries-old business of building pipe organs for churches, concert halls and other institutions.

The reason? Organ pipes contain large amounts of lead, and the wind that blows through them is generated by electricity (rather than the older method of people pumping bellows behind the organ). The new directive, to come into force in July, limits the proportion of hazardous substances like lead, mercury or cadmium to 0.1 percent of a finished product that works on electricity.

Here is the full story.  And how is this for a bureaucratic runaround?

The Department of Trade and Industry, the government office responsible for the issue, insists it is the organ builders themselves who "must apply for an exemption directly" to the European Union, said a spokeswoman for the department, who insisted on anonymity in accordance with government rules for departmental spokespeople.

Comments

The full extent of this saga is actually much more complex and involves UK bureaucrats pointing at EU bureaucrats pointing at the producers of organs etc. For a more nuanced look I'd recommend:

http://eureferendum.blogspot.com/2006/03/those-pesky-organs-again.html

and

http://eureferendum.blogspot.com/2006/03/sorted.html

Enjoy.

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