Mercury Policy Project

Promoting policies to eliminate mercury use and reduce mercury exposure

Archive for the 'Green Lighting' Category

FDA sued over its failure to effectively warn consumers about mercury risks from fish

March 12th, 2014 by michael

On behalf of CSPI and MPP, Earthjustice recently filed a lawsuit in federal court against FDA for failing to respond to our 2011 petition requesting the Agency to give consumers clear, accurate and accessible information about mercury in seafood (as recent press reports explain.)  The lawsuit seeks a court-ordered deadline since under its own regulations, FDA had 180 days to respond and its failure to do so violates federal law.  In 2004, FDA acknowledged MeHg exposure risks when it issued an online advisory based on now outdated research.  Several recent studies suggest adverse effects at exposure levels 10-fold lower than those considered acceptable a decade ago.

Category: Academic Projects, Blogroll, Dental Mercury, Developing World, EU, Emissions, Environmental Justice, Events, Exports, Fish and Seafood, Gold Mining, Green Lighting, Hg in skin cosmetics, International, Kid Stuff, Mercury & Climate, Mercury Exposure, Mercury Facts, Mercury Products, Mercury and Climate Change, Press Releases, Reports, Storage, UNEP, US, Uncategorized | Comments Off

3rd Mercury Negotiation in Nairobi

October 21st, 2011 by kris

Leading up to the third Intergovernmental Negotiation Committee meeting in in Nairobi (31 Oct.- 4 Nov.), MPP director Bender will give a presentation tomorrow on ZMWG initiatives to reduce mercury globall at an international conference on environmental diplomacy and security.

Category: Dental Mercury, Developing World, Events, Exports, Fish and Seafood, Gold Mining, Green Lighting, Hg in skin cosmetics, International, Mercury Exposure, Mercury Products, Mercury and Climate Change, Press Releases, Reports, Storage, UNEP, US | Comments Off

Vermont legislature passes EPR lamps bill!

May 6th, 2011 by kris

On Thursday, the Vermont legislature passed a bill creating an extended producer responsibility recycling program for mercury-containing light bulbs and setting mercury content standards, modeled after the EU.     Pending the Governor’s approval, Vermont will become the third state to establish such a program, following a law first passed in Maine (supported by a report- also see fact sheet) and then a second in Washington, where a weblink explains it.  “This law will help continue an important lamp recycling program.” said Senator Virginai Lyons  (D-Chittenden), lead sponsor of the legislation.  “Protecting our waterways and other natural resources from mercury exposure is vitally important,” said Representative David Deen (D-Windham-5).   More information on the retail  lamp collection program is available  here.

Category: Fish and Seafood, Green Lighting, Press Releases, Reports, US | Comments Off

Leadership needed on global mercury debate

January 28th, 2011 by michael

As delegates from 117 countries concluded  the second round of negotiations for a legally binding treaty on mercury, they welcomed Japan’s offer to host the 2013 diplomatic conference in Minamata where  the convention will be signed, due to the unprecedented mercury epidemic in the 1950’s.   However, NGOs from around the world urged them to truly honor Minimata by agreeing to adopt strong measures. “If the world’s governments really want to call this the “Minamata Treaty,”  then they should back up their words with meaningful actions,” said Takeshi Yasuma, of Citizens Against Chemicals Pollution, a Japanese NGO, who worked closely with Minamata groups in raising awareness at the meeting and through  the news media reports.

Although delegates generally agreed on a proposed basic framework for mercury reductions, they left most all substantive issues unresolved.  According to a ZMWG statement, governments now need to exert strong leadership to: monitor and reduce emissions from coal-fired power stations and other industry and industry; phase out existing mercury mining and management of stored quantities; the classification and management of mercury waste; and critical also is resolving financial aspects of the future convention.  After reviewing and summarizing comments on the draft UNEP framework document, interventions were made by ZMWG and other NGOs and recommended:  expanding the list of mercury-based products and processes to be regulated under the treaty, providing explicit time lines for phase outs, reducing mercury content in lamps,  and strengthening provisions on artisanal and small-scale gold mining, the largest mercury use in the world, among many others.

Category: Developing World, Emissions, Events, Gold Mining, Green Lighting, International, Press Releases, Storage, UNEP | Comments Off

Mercury Lighting Recycling Bill Passed!

March 15th, 2010 by kris

The Washington Legislature passed a bill, EESB 5543, which requires lightbulb manufacturers to finance a statewide recycling program for lights containing mercury, including compact florescent light (CFLS). The producer-pays aspect of this bill is based on product stewardship. The recycling program will take effect on January 1st, 2013. For more detail, see press releases from King County and Washington Citizens for Resource Conservation and Northwest Energy Coalition.

Category: Green Lighting, Press Releases, US | Comments Off

Bring Back the Light

January 25th, 2010 by kris

Efficiency Vermont Donated Bulbs

Efficiency Vermont Donated Bulbs

MPP and VPIRG are holding Bring Back the Light, an event where Vermonters can trade in their spent bulbs for new CFLs while supplies last. The event is to highlight long term, sustainable funding solution needed for a comprehensive bulb recycling program.  100 Free bulbs generously donated by Efficiency Vermont at each participating store. Participating stores are Nelson Ace Hardware, 190 N. Main St, Barre, VT 05641, and  S. Burlington Ace Hardware, 1961 Williston Rd, South Burlington, VT 05403. Links for rationale on why to recycle bulbs, and locations in Vermont where there is free bulb recycling.

Category: Events, Green Lighting, Press Releases | Comments Off

Mercury Policy Project Testifies at NY Hearing on Mercury

October 13th, 2009 by kris

At the request of New York State’s Assembly Committee on Environmental Conservation, MPP provides expert testimony regarding methods to reduce mercury exposure. MPP stressed the state government’s responsibility to reduce and eliminate mercury uses and releases, and also to take steps to protect its population from mercury exposure risks.  Recommendations included to (1) expand risk communication for consumption of high-mercury fish, (2) strengthen mercury phase-out legislation, (3) pass new legislation requiring incentivized collections for mercury thermostats, and (4) establish maximum mercury-content standards for light bulbs.

Category: Fish and Seafood, Green Lighting, Mercury Exposure, Mercury Products, US | Comments Off

Maine Law Requires Lamp Makers to Pay for Recycling

June 22nd, 2009 by kris

Today, the Natural Resources Counsel of Maine (NRCM), the Green Lighting Campaign, and the Multi-State Mercury Products Campaign celebrate the passage of LD 973, “An Act to Provide for the Safe Collection and Recycling of Mercury-Containing Light Bulbs.”  Passage of this “model” lamp legislation, which requires bulb manufacturers to share the costs and responsibility of recycling mercury-containing light bulbs, sets a precedent that the Multi-State Mercury Products Campaign intends to press for other states to follow. “Final passage of the lamps legislation will send a clear message out nationally (and globally) that a new day is dawning for total life cycle management and shared responsibility– from ‘the cradle to the grave’ for products containing mercury and other hazardous substances,” said MPP Director Bender in a statement.  For additional information, see the National Caucus of Environmental Legislators website.

Category: Green Lighting, US | Comments Off

MPP and Green Lighting Campaign Submit Comments to DOE

June 12th, 2009 by gunner

Today, the Green Lighting Campaign along with others submitted comments in response to the DOE’s proposed Energy Conservation Standards for General Service Fluorescent Lamps and Incandescent Reflector Lamps.

We are concerned that this proposed rule will allow a significant amount of outdated lighting equipment to continue to be sold in the US marketplace even though more energy-efficient, cost-effective replacements are readily available.  At a minimum, according to our comments, the DOE should adopt lighting-efficiency standards at least as stringent and broad in scope as those adopted under the European Union’s Eco-Design Standards for Energy Using Products (EuP) Directive.

Failure to do so will place the US further behind on demonstrated leadership regarding climate change and other related environmental policy issues,” said  Alicia Culver of the Green Purchasing Institute and Co-Coordinatorof the Green Lighting Campaign.  “Moreover, adoption of the current proposal will run the risk of turning the US into a dumping ground for inferior lighting products that do not meet the EU’s stronger energy-efficiency requirements.”

Category: Green Lighting, Mercury Products, US | Comments Off

Groups Launch Green Lighting Campaign

April 22nd, 2008 by mpp

Environmental groups from New York to California are taking a pledge to consider only the “greenest” CFLs when making purchases for office use and during compact fluorescent lamp giveaways. The new “Green Lighting Campaign” intends to promote more sustainable lighting practices such as recycling, rather than throwing lamps containing mercury in the trash. Toxic levels in lamps have created concerns when the lamps are produced, transported, installed, broken or disposed of, say advocates. Absent mercury content reductions and manufacturing dosing improvements, global mercury use will increase with expanding fluorescent lighting use, and negate dramatic mercury reductions anticipated in most other sectors. Offered by a coalition of groups (see press release), the guidance and pledge have other organizations considering steps to include more than energy efficiency when determining their lighting purchases.

Millions of lamps are purchased every year, a decision typically made by a handful of people. Many work with or in non-profit groups, who then distribute them to the public. Lamp giveaways are held to help educate and motivate the public around issues of energy efficiency and climate change. By making these purchases influence more than the climate change issue, the Green Lighting Campaign seeks to influence the overall market for lighting products. “As we choose compact fluorescent lamps to combat global warming, we can and should reduce toxic pollution at the same time,” said Bill Magavern, Director of Sierra Club California. “The Green Lighting Campaign seeks to protect households and workers from both mercury pollution and climate change.”

Category: Green Lighting, Mercury Products | Comments Off