Megaman®, one of the world’s largest manufacturers of energy saving light bulbs, has called for an international ban on cheap bulbs which contain mercury in liquid form. The company, whose entire range of lighting products are free of liquid mercury, says that consumer safety is being compromised by lax regulations which allow inferior – and potentially hazardous – products to be sold through shops and Internet retailers. The company is actively lobbying at the EU in Brussels and in other European countries.
Megaman has carried out exhaustive research into what happens when different types of low energy bulbs – known as CFLs – get broken in a confined space. While those types – including its own products – which use a safe form of amalgam – are safe when broken, those which contain liquid mercury can release mercury vapour in concentrations which far exceed internationally agreed safety limits.
While mercury in various solid and liquid forms has to be used to make all fluorescent lights (including low energy bulbs) work properly, Megaman say that it does not have to be used in its most dangerous liquid form, but can be used safely in a solid amalgam form combined with other elements.
Also of concern is the safe disposal of old lamps or broken lamps and the potential effects on the environment. All low energy bulbs lamps now have to be disposed of in recognised recycling points but it is a fact that many lamps containing liquid mercury are broken in the process, allowing mercury vapour to escape into the environment. In contrast, bulbs containing mercury in its solid amalgam form are quite stable, safe and minimise environmental pollution.
Adrian Kitching, OEM Director of Megaman UK, believes that DEFRA and other authorities now need to take steps to protect consumers and the environment by tightening up on existing regulations. He says:
“While all fluorescent lamps need mercury to work correctly, liquid mercury is classified as a hazardous substance internationally. But Health & Safety regulations do currently allow liquid mercury in low energy bulbs, even though there is a much safer alternative in solid mercury amalgam. We believe that EU regulations need now to be changed to only allow the safe amalgam form, effectively banning the use of liquid mercury completely. We are lobbying European governments on this basis.”
The low energy lighting products manufactured by Megaman have been completely free of liquid mercury since January 2008. By adopting the use of the safer solid amalgam form of the element, the company has been able to minimise environmental impact at different stages of the product life cycle. This not only protects consumers during the products useful life, but also workers during production and transportation, and during end-of-life disposal.
Your building and construction haven, CW Home Depot by CW Group is the exclusive distributor of Megaman in the Philippines. MEGAMAN is one of the participating brands in CW Home Depot’s Red Tag Sale that runs from August 1 to 31, 2011.
For more information about Megaman and other world class products, visit The Home Deppot branches in Ortigas, Alabang, Balintak, Manila Bay, Pampanga and Makati or go to www.http://cwhomedepot.com