Impact of new "cost saving" nickel plated coins on nickel allergy sufferers

[name removed] made this Freedom of Information request to Royal Mint

This request has been closed to new correspondence from the public body. Contact us if you think it ought be re-opened.

The request was successful.

Dear Royal Mint,

Having read the following article, I would like to give you a fair chance to comment.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-17773007

Please let me know:

1. What advice you have sought, research you have undertaken and tests you have commissioned on the health risks posed by introducing nickel-plated coins into circulation.
2. What compensation you will be prepared to offer to allergy sufferers who are affected by these coins entering circulation.
3. Who is the person who has the final decision about the above subjects?
4. Has the Royal Mint decided to ignore evidence from Sweden that nickel-plated coins pose a serious health risk and if so, why?
5. How much money would be saved by introducing nickel-plated 5p and 10p coins, compared to the current cupro-nickel versions?

Yours faithfully,

[name removed]

Dear Royal Mint,

Please confirm whether you are looking into my query, as the statutory deadline for a response has now passed.

Yours faithfully,

[name removed]

Dear Royal Mint,

I'm still waiting. I'm considering applying for an internal review or writing to my MP. I haven't even received an acknowledgment from you!

Yours faithfully,

[name removed]

Cheryl Morgan Sales, Royal Mint

Dear [name removed]

 

Many thanks for your enquiry and please accept our sincere apologies for
the delay in responding.

 

As you are probably aware, the composition of 5p and 10p coins was changed
from cupro-nickel alloy to nickel-plated steel from the 1st January 2012. 

 

This decision to change the alloy of the 5p and 10p coins is expected to
deliver significant savings for HM Treasury (estimated to be £7-8 million
per year) in relation to expenditure on metals. A trend of rising metal
prices over recent years has meant that the continued use of cupro-nickel
is likely to become increasingly expensive.

 

The new coins are the same weight and diameter as the existing coins
however, they are marginally thicker than the current 5p and 10p cupro
nickel coins in circulation.

 

The Royal Mint conducted a consultation exercise in the first half of 2008
with a wide range of interested parties, including the cash handling
industry, cash in transit companies, retailers, gaming and vending machine
operators, as well as relevant industry associations.

 

With regards to your concerns regarding the impact on public health, HM
Treasury and The Royal Mint take reports concerning the possible impact on
health as a result of the introduction of the new nickel plated 5p and 10p
coins very seriously.

 

Nickel has been used in UK coinage for over 60 years and the nickel plated
steed coins that have been introduced are already in use in Canada, New
Zealand and other countries around the world.

 

The Royal Mint has adhered to all the relevant legislation and guidelines
relating to the introduction of the new coins and we are confident that
the new nickel plated 5p and 10p coins have no additional potential to
cause adverse effects in people with allergic contact dermatitis and hand
dermatitis.

 

For reference, independent tests have also been conducted by three
separate accredited laboratories using the internationally recognised
standard test for the release of nickel.  Based on these results we are
confident that there is no increased risk to public health.

 

The Royal Mint and HM Treasury are working with the relevant industries to
ensure a smooth transition to the new more modern coinage.

 

I hope that this will be of assistance however, if you have any further
enquiries then please do not hesitate to contact me.

 

Yours sincerely

 

 

 

Cheryl D Morgan

Regional Director of Sales

[1][email address]

 

............................................................................

Sales Department

The Royal Mint Ltd

Llantrisant, Pontyclun

CF72  8YT

United Kingdom

............................................................................

Tel: +44 (0) 1443 623606 (Direct)

Tel: +44 (0) 1443 623852 (Switchboard)

Tel: +44 (0) 7760776124 (Mobile)

[2]http://www.royalmint.com/

 

 

 

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