ROSSLYN, VA, March 13, 2007-Lighting company members of the National Electrical Manufacturers Association (NEMA) announced today that they are making a voluntary commitment to cap the amount of mercury present in each compact fluorescent lamp (CFL) offered for sale for typical residential use in the United States. This commitment by NEMA's lamp section members that make or market CFLs is the latest step in the industry's efforts to reduce mercury content and is consistent with NEMA's Call to Action on hazardous substances.
NEMA President Evan Gaddis said, "This should help policy makers and the consumer public fully understand the electrical manufacturing community's determination to be leaders in environmental stewardship while maintaining the highest standards of product safety and performance."
Under the voluntary commitment, effective April 15, 2007, NEMA members will cap the total mercury content in CFLs of less than 25 watts at 5 milligrams (mg) per unit. The total mercury content of CFLs that use 25 to 40 watts of electricity will be capped at 6 mg per unit. NEMA is launching a website, www.cfl-mercury.org, where CFL manufacturers conforming to the voluntary commitment on mercury will be listed.
"NEMA's Call to Action on hazardous substances," said Gaddis, "puts the organization firmly on record as a champion of reducing and, where possible, eliminating hazardous substances in electrical products. Industry, the government, and retail consumers can do their part by replacing less-efficient lamps with CFLs where possible, thus contributing to an overall reduction in mercury emissions through the consequent reduction in energy demand and associated power plant emissions."
Mercury is an essential element in CFLs and allows the bulb to be an efficient light source. The additional milligram for lamps of 25 to 40 watts is needed to operate these higher-wattage lamps for higher light-output demands in the United States. NEMA CFL manufacturers will, nonetheless, continue to work to reduce the amount of mercury and other hazardous substances in their products.
NEMA is the trade association of choice for the electrical manufacturing industry. Founded in 1926 and headquartered near Washington, D.C., its approximately 450 member companies manufacture products used in the generation, transmission and distribution, control, and end-use of electricity. These products are used in utility, medical imaging, industrial, commercial, institutional, and residential applications. Domestic production of electrical products sold worldwide exceeds $120 billion. In addition to its headquarters in Rosslyn, Virginia, NEMA also has offices in Beijing, Sao Paulo, and Mexico City.
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