Chennai Corporation, Fanalca and mercury in CFL lamps

I have posted earlier on the irresponsible response of the Chennai Corporation on behalf of Commissioner Rajesh Lakhoni, and presumably Mayor M. Subramaniam, to my petition under the Right to Information Act, 2005, relating to disposal of Compact Fluorescent Lights (CFL) by the Corporation and Neel Metal Fanalca.

The Union of Concerned Scientists in the United States, which has been drawing public attention to the evidence of climate change, has recently urged everyone to switch to energy efficient CFLs, which US law also requires to be inducted progressively now.

The UCS talks about the danger of mercury in this statement (this was the theme of my RTI Act application to the Chennai Corporation) :

CFLs and Mercury
CFLs do contain a small amount of mercury, so they cannot be thrown out in the trash . However, the mercury in CFLs represents a much less significant environmental hazard than incandescent bulbs because CFLs require much less electricity, and more than half of our nation’s electricity is generated by coal-fired power plants—the largest U.S. source of mercury emissions. In other words, the average coal-fired power plant emits only 3.2 milligrams of mercury for each CFL running six hours per day for five years, but emits nearly 15 milligrams of mercury for an incandescent bulb running the same amount of time, according to UCS research.
The difference far exceeds the approximately five milligrams present inside a CFL. Properly disposing of CFLs ensures the mercury in them remains contained. (emphasis added)

For disposal expertise, the UCS refers visitors to this website:

Time for our IAS wizards and their political bosses to wake up to the reality of mercury pollution without waiting for the odd journalist to come up with horror stories.


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