Creating a better world includes finding solutions that work to address multiple issues. Using fluorescent lighting reduces greenhouse gas emissions, mercury and other pollutants coming from fossil-fuel fired power plants. To work, these lamps need mercury. Currently, the end-of-life for most household fluorescent lamps is through landfilling or incineration.
Links provided highlight the National Green Lighting campaign’s efforts to extend responsibility for all mercury-containing lighting by providing convenient, comprehensive and sustainable end-of-life solutions; as well as reducing toxicity, improving lighting quality and increasing efficiency/longevity of all lamps sold.
Shedding Light on Mercury Risks from CFL Breakage, Prepared by Edward Groth, PhD, For The Mercury Policy Project, February 2008.
The report recommends that sensitive populations should take extra precautions to reduce risks associated with CFL breakage, but says that CFLs generally can and should still be used in everyone’s homes until a nontoxic light bulb becomes available. The report also recommends the adoption of more comprehensive environmental and human health guidelines by decision makers that, in addition to energy-efficiency, address other concerns.
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1.Sierra Club, Information on CFLs, Guidelines for Selecting, Distributing and Recycling Environmentally-Preferable Light Bulbs During Mass Giveaways
2.National Pollution Prevention Roundtable
3.Green Purchasing Network (website forthcoming)
6.Product Stewardship Institute, Fluorescent Lighting
1.EPA/DOE Energy Star, Compact Fluorescent Light Bulbs
1.Consortium on Energy Efficiency, Members, Lighting
2.Wisconsin Focus on Energy, CFL Recycling
4.Minnesota Pollution Control Agency, Fluorescent and HID Lamp Recycling
5.Washington Department of Ecology, Mercury-containing Light Bulbs/Lamps
6.King County Take it Back Network, Snohomish County Take it Back Network, Washington
Retail Take-back Programs
Lamp Manufacturers and Associations