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Sustainable Belmont Energy Efficient Lighting Jeri Weiss February 1, 2006.

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Presentation on theme: "Sustainable Belmont Energy Efficient Lighting Jeri Weiss February 1, 2006."— Presentation transcript:

1 Sustainable Belmont Energy Efficient Lighting Jeri Weiss February 1, 2006

2 Why Is Mercury in Bulbs? Contributes to efficiency More energy is converted into useable light, less is converted into heat Increases life of bulb Unfortunately, theres no substitute for mercury, although amount of mercury in each bulb has decreased in the past 10 years There are no mercury-free fluorescent bulbs

3 Does the Mercury Matter? Mercury is persistent and toxic in the environment Release of mercury in the air, results in deposition of mercury, eventually ending up in water bodies, bio-accumulating in fish MA has fish consumption advisories for women of childbearing age, pregnant and nursing women and young children

4 Mercury Health Effects Effects of exposure during development or to adults range from mortality at very high levels through subtle effects on ability to learn at lower levels Effects on adults at high (poisoning) doses included death, paresthesia, tremors, ataxia, hearing and vision impairment, balance and speech disturbances, motor difficulties Children born to mothers exposed during pregnancy at high doses exhibited cerebral palsy-like symptoms, delayed walking/talking; at lower doses, delayed startle responses, subtle neurological effects, effects on tests related to ability to learn and process information Not likely to be a human carcinogen (Tumors are seen in animals only at extremely toxic doses; neurological effects are observed at orders of magnitude lower exposures) Developing nervous system is a sensitive target for low dose MeHg exposure Human and animal evidence of cardiovascular effects – from adult and in utero exposure Animal evidence of immune and reproductive effects

5 Does the Mercury Matter Exposure in utero and during childhood can affect ability of children to think and learn New information on damage to heart and blood regulation

6 How Fluorescent Lamps Work Produces light when electrical current passes between two electrodes (cathodes) in a tube filled with low pressure mercury vapor and other gases Electrical current excites the mercury vapor, generating radiant energy Radiant energy causes the phosphor coating to fluoresce converting to visible light

7 Fluorescent Lamps

8 Other Lamps with Mercury Mercury Vapor Lamps Neon lamps Ultra Violet Lamp Tanning lamps Metal Halide Lamp

9 What Are Disposal Requirements? Universal Waste Rules Simplifies management and disposal Special requirements Less complex than hazardous waste Massachusetts requires commercial, industrial, and institutional facilities to manage all mercury-added lamps that fail the toxicity characteristic leaching procedure (TCLP) as universal or hazardous wastes. All mercury-added lamps failing the TCLP must be treated, disposed, or recycled at an authorized destination facility. No requirements for homeowners

10 What advice does MA DEP have? Management Options Take to a municipal recycling center Save for the next household hazardous waste collection in your community, if accepted in your program. Do not dispose of in the trash, especially if your community's solid waste goes to a combustion facility. Individual broken lamps should be placed in a sealed container and disposed of in the trash.

11 Whats the Sustainable Thing To Do? Encourage use of mercury bulbs but recycle MA DEP has a state contract to reduce cost of recycling NESWC provides funding for recycling Belmont Highway Department and Bureau of Health developed a recycling program for municipal owned buildings

12 What Should Belmontians Do? Use fluorescent and compact fluorescent bulbs to save energy Recycle! But How? Household Hazardous Waste? Not practical Expensive Alternative Ideas Collection points in town Fire Station? DPW? Health Department? Retail Stores?

13 Program in Vermont True Value Hardware has teamed up with the state of Vermont to offer free recycling for Vermont residents of up to six fluorescent and other mercury-containing bulbs per visit. What kinds of bulbs contain mercury? 8' or 4' linear fluorescent bulbs Compact fluorescent bulbs Linear fluorescent bulbs such as - tanning bulbs, grow bulbs, black lights and smaller (12", 18", 24" etc.) bulbs U-tubes Circular fluorescent bulbs HID car headlights (appear blue when lit) High Intensity Discharge (HID) bulbs (such as: mercury vapor, metal halide, etc.)

14 Next Steps General Discussions Health Department – Donna Moultrup Department of Public Works – Peter Castanino Scanlon Associates – Pat Scanlon Consultant for NESWC Identify model programs Meeting Discuss alternatives Pilot a program Report Back

15 Questions? Jeri Weiss


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