Mercury is widely used in compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs) and the demand for them is increasing in the quest for energy efficiency. According to the EU Directive 2002/95/EC on the restriction of hazardous substances in electrical and electronic equipment (RoHS Directive), mercury content in CFLs not exceeding 5 mg per lamp is allowed. These lamps reduce electricity consumption so that in countries that generate electricity largely from coal, there could be less electricity required for lighting, thereby saving about 10 per cent of emissions into the environment (EU, 2010). However, despite continuing industry efforts to reduce the mercury content of each CFL and proven recycling techniques allowing effective recovery of mercury at the end of a lamp’s life cycle, the high global demand for CFLs might present a challenge to achieving the goal of effective reduction of mercury use.
From collection: Mercury - Time to act