Here are some helpful factoids about Mercury and CFL’s (compact fluorescent lamps)
– Coal-fired power plants are the largest man-made source of mercury because mercury that naturally exists in coal is released into the air when coal is burned to make electricity. Coalfired power generation accounts for 51 percent of the mercury emissions in the U.S.
– The amount of mercury in mercury-based thermometers, 0.5 to 3 grams, is 100 – 600 times as much as a common CFL, about 5 milligrams.
– If the electricity used to operate your lamps is generated from coal, and you operate 100-watt incandescent lamps for 10,000 hours, the power generating plant will release between 40 mg and 70 mg of mercury into the environment, depending upon the type of coal being used. If instead of the 100-watt incandescent lamp, you use a 25-watt CFL, the power plant mercury emissions drop to between 10 and 18 mg over the same 10,000 hour period, again depending upon the type of coal used.
– The use of CFLs reduces power demand, which helps reduce mercury emissions from power plants.
Sources for these factoids from:
Mercury and the Environment – Sources of Mercury – Mercury Containing Products
For more information on all sources of mercury.
For more information about compact fluorescent bulbs.
Mercury fact sheet from Energy Star.
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