Requiem for church organs
This is another instance in which England surely regrets having joined the EU. There's no end to the mischief that bureaucrats can get away with. However, this insane proliferation of regulations isn't confined to the EU. Here is a quote from the short note in The American Thinker that linked to this article: But before you berate the Eurobatties too enthusiastically, keep in mind that the 2005 version of the Federal Register ran to 77,752 pages and that compliance with government regulations cost this country $1.1 trillion last year — roughly $3,660 for every single American.
Britain, UK news from The Times and The Sunday Times - Times Online
An EU directive aimed at controlling lead waste is putting the country's historic instruments in peril
THE stops could be pulled for ever on many church organs because of an EU directive designed to control hazardous substances.
The instruments at Salisbury Cathedral, St Paul’s in London, Worcester Cathedral, St Albans Abbey and Birmingham Town Hall are among the first that may be silenced. They are due to be refurbished or rebuilt and will fall foul of the directives, which are aimed at limiting the amount of lead in electrical items.
The regulations permit electrical equipment to have a maximum of 0.1 per cent of their weight as lead. Organ pipes have a lead content of 50 per cent or more and the Department of Trade and Industry has advised organ builders that, in the interests of directive harmony, they must “prepare to comply”. Though pipe organs are essentially mechanical devices, they use electric motors to power the blowers that move air through the pipes.
The great Harrison and Harrison organ at the South Bank, which is now in pieces in Durham as part of the refurbishment of the Royal Festival Hall, is under immediate threat. Under EU Directive 2002 95/EC RoHS and EU Directive 2002 96/EC WEEE, it will technically be illegal to reinstall it.
[...] The directive, which seeks to minimise the amount of “hazardous waste” that finds its way into landfill after electrical products are scrapped, would also bring to an end the 1,000-year-old craft of organ building. In Britain there are about 70 companies employing about 800 people, and all their jobs are at risk.
Only straightforward repairs of old instruments, doing nothing to change or modify the organ, would be allowed.
[...] Lead is used in organ pipes because of its malleability and the distinctive sound it produces. Organists are baffled that they have been caught up in EU red tape because when organs are rebuilt the lead is not thrown away. It is re-used in new or different pipes.