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[GreenYes] Minnesota bills to target mercury sources

State bill targets mercury sources

<mailto:jmyers@no.address> John Myers Duluth News Tribune
Published Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Consumers would be required to recycle compact fluorescent light bulbs and morticians would have to remove amalgam fillings from bodies before cremation under a proposal in the Minnesota Legislature.

The legislation, to be introduced today, extends Minnesota's effort to get mercury out of the environment.

The bill - sponsored by Sen. John Marty, DFL-Roseville, and Rep. Melissa Hortman, DFL-Brooklyn Park - also bans mercury switches, thermostats, medical devices and sensors.


Duluth News Tribune Web Icon <> <> Proposed mercury legislation

Duluth News Tribune Web Icon <> <> The mercury problem
The bill's primary focus is to require consumers to recycle the millions of compact fluorescent bulbs being sold because of the trace amounts of mercury inside. A state law requiring fluorescent tubes to be recycled was written before compact fluorescents became widely available.

The compact bulbs, which have risen in popularity as they have declined in price, can substantially reduce energy use and greenhouse gases. Not only do they last 10 times longer than traditional incandescent bulbs, but they can give the same amount of light and use less than half the energy. Replacing a bulb with a compact fluorescent can save a consumer more than $30 over five years.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency says if each U.S. home replaced just one incandescent bulb with a new compact fluorescent, the energy saved would be enough to heat 2.5 million homes for a year. The greenhouse gasses "saved" would equal the emissions of 800,000 cars. It also would reduce mercury emissions from coal-fired power plants.




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