Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Banning Mercury Products

Recently, Canada’s federal government announced it will pass a law to ban many products that contain mercury, including thermometers. However, Canada’s federal government already banned the incandescent light bulb in favor of CFLs, which contain mercury. One of the few products to escape the new mercury ban is CFL light bulbs. To ban mercury in most products while legislating every home in Canada must use mercury-laden CFL’s might make some consumers question their lighting choice.

Although CFLs contain small quantities of mercury—which can cause environmental, safety and health consequences—incandescent bulbs actually result in more mercury pollution. While incandescents do not contain mercury, they still contribute to its release into the environment. Because burning coal to generate electricity releases mercury into the air and incandescent bulbs use more electricity over their lifetimes, they are responsible for more energy consumption and ultimately more mercury emissions than CFLs.

The switch from an incandescent bulb to a more efficient CFL results not only in energy and cost savings, but also in less overall mercury pollution. However, CFLs and other mercury-containing lamps emit mercury vapor when broken, and most shipping packages currently in use do not contain this vapor. They need to be properly stored and transported to recycling facilities in packaging proven to contain mercury vapor emissions. Only then do CFLs result in a truly green lighting solution. Currently, only one package design, which includes a vapor resistant and zip seal bag, has proven effective in containing mercury vapor.

Brad Buscher
Chairman and CEO
VaporLok Products LLC


  1. The CFL mercury issueis extensively covered here

    The CFL Mercury Issue
    Breakage -- Recycling -- Dumping -- Mining -- Manufacturing -- Transport -- Power Plants

    Also: Why a light bulb ban is
    particularly wrong for Canada:

  2. The above site counters the claim that
    coal power emissions are worse...