The European Union has treated us to a bumper crop of bureaucratic foolishness, but this one's a whopper. In a regulation to become effective in July, the Boys in Brussells have found a new item to place under restriction as a hazard to health and the environment: pipe organs.
It seems the member states of the EU passed a law restricting to a tiny percentage the amount of lead that can be contained in electrically powered devices. Pipe organs use lots of lead. Most of the pipes are almost entirely lead, in fact. The wind chests are kept full by air supplied by a pump, and those pumps are powered by electricity. So there you are.
How could such a crazy thing happen? Sheer sloppiness. The law was intended to deal with electronics like outdated cell phones or computer circuit boards. If these are dumped into landfills, the lead can leach into the environment and be a true hazard. But they didn't bother to specify the target of the law, so they wound up targetting by accident a technology whose hazards, if any, we would know about by now as we've only been using the things for two thousand years. (Literally. The earliest known organ prototype was invented by one of the great engineers of antiquity, Ktesibius of Alexandria, in the 3rd century BC. It was called a hydraulis, as the air flow was kept steady by a regulating mechanism using water pressure.)
Brussels was quick to reassure organ builders that their craft was in no danger. All any builder had to do was file for an exemption and he'd get it. But why should they HAVE to?? Why didn't the bureaucrats do their jobs, think it through, and specify the devices and situations they were concerned about with a phrase like "and all similar devices" thrown in to cover anything they missed? Why should the burden be on ordinary EU citizens to correct a mistake the "professionals" never should have made in the first place?
If there's anything worse than an unaccountable bureaucracy exerting control over every aspect of your life, it's an incompetant unaccountable bureaucracy exerting control over every aspect of your life.
(Note: The bombard is in fact a class of organ pipes, the noisiest ever constructed.)