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[GreenYes] RE:Mercury from fluorescents -- a future problem and in the commercial sector

Hi David ~

As I noted in my earlier note, the amount of mercury released to the enivorment from fluorescents is decreasing, in part due to the reduction in the mercury content on a per lamp basis. This trend could change in the future if we have a massive change in the sale of fluorescents.

Yes, most fluorescents are used in the commercial sector (80+ percent), but the number used by households is increasing rapidly. Education and enforcement will be important along with providing convenient take-back locations and the removal of the household exemption that allows households to send hazardous wastes to landfills and incinerators. California has taken the lead on this for a wide range of materials, while other states have banned the landfilling and incineration of all mercury-containing products from all sources.



-----Original Message-----
From: GreenYes@no.address [mailto:GreenYes@no.address]On Behalf Of David Biddle
Sent: Thursday, May 10, 2007 7:50 PM
To: Reindl, John; GreenYes@no.address
Subject: [GreenYes] Re: mercury from fluorescents

I'm not following this issue yet close enough, but wouldn't most of the fluorescent mercury be coming from tube lamps still? Don't we have about the 3-5 years before we see the problem with CFLs? And isn't this a matter of education and enforcement of the commercial sector where the predominant population of fluorescent tubes is found? They don't circumvent CERCLA the way residential does. Just asking? The number of businesses I see weekly that don't have a fluorescent lamp recycling program is staggering.

David Biddle, Executive Director
<> <>
Greater Philadelphia Commercial Recycling Council
P.O. Box 4037
Philadelphia, PA 19118

215-247-3090 (desk)
215-432-8225 (cell)


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on 5/10/07 3:08 PM, Reindl, John at Reindl@no.address wrote:

According to the mercury flow model done for EPA, the release of mercury from fluorescents to the environment in 2005 in the US is estimated at about 8.2 metric tons, down from 13.7 metric tons in 2000.

All the coal burning power plants in the US emit about 45 metric tons of mercury to the air.

So, fluorescents are not an insignificant source of mercury emissions to the environment.

Please let me know if you would like a copy of the model, which is an Excel spreadsheet.

John Reindl
Dane County, WI

-----Original Message-----
From: GreenYes@no.address [ mailto:GreenYes@no.address]On Behalf Of daklute@no.address
Sent: Thursday, May 10, 2007 1:51 PM
To: Doug Koplow
Cc: bill@no.address; GreenYes@no.address
Subject: [GreenYes] Re: Ban the Bulb -- But don't create a new toxic problem, say local governments

The ENERGY STAR program has pretty rigorous QA/QC in terms of lumen maintenance and hours of use. If they don't perform, they don't get certified. IF they don't get certified, Wal-Mart won't sell them. Also, the EPACT set up certain hours of use requirmenets for CFL's - I think it is 6000.

Don't forget, as a source of anthropogenic Hg, this is a very small one.

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