3.2 Question B
Taking into account
the technical and scientific assessment from Öko-Institut and
Fraunhofer IZM (2009), assess the potential risks to human
health and the environment of the alternatives available to
reduce, eliminate or substitute the
mercury in CFLs.
In the context of the RoHS directive (2002/95/EC) on hazardous
substances in electrical and electronic equipment, the report
prepared by the Öko-Institut and Fraunhofer IZM (2009) has
reviewed the Hg content in various types of lamps: compact
lamps, straight fluorescent
lamps for general purposes, straight fluorescent lamps
for special purposes and ‘other lamps’ such as high-pressure
sodium lamps. However, due to the absence of detailed
information on the number of lamps/types used in the EU, on the
disposal practices and the life time of the lamps used, the
risks to the environment cannot be assessed with the information
presented in this report.
The study commissioned by DG TREN and performed by the Flemish
institute for technological research (or VITO), has assessed the
environmental impact and life cycle of 6 types of lamps, i.e.
the so-called base cases (VITO 2009). The information contained
in this report allows, be it indirectly, to make an initial risk
assessment of Hg contained in these types of lamps. The base
cases discussed in this report and used for this opinion are:
- Incandescent lamp, clear (CLS-C):54W
- Incandescent lamp, frosted (CLS-F):54W
- Halogen lamp, low voltage (HL-LV):30W
- Halogen lamp, mains voltage, low wattage
- Halogen lamp, mains voltage, high wattage
- Compact fluorescent lamp, with integrated ballast
Exposure assessment based on number of lamps sold in
The EU-27 electricity consumption in
2007 of non-directional light sources in all sectors is about
112.5 TWh (VITO 2009). This is approximately 4 % of the EU-27
total electricity consumption with 2.95% being used by the
domestic sector and 1.05% in the non-domestic sector. The share
of each lamp type in the energy consumption for all sectors is
given in Table 1.
Table 1: Comparison of unit sales per base case in the EU 27
According to the VITO (2009) report, the production of 1 KWh
releases 16 ng of Hg into the air; the production of 112.5 TWh
in the EU-27 area thus emits 16 x 112.5x109 ng = 1800 kg Hg to
the EU-27 air compartment.
An overview of the Hg emission of each lamp type during its
use and end-of-life phase is given in Table 2. For example, the
767 million CLS-F lamps which were sold in 2007, released 659.6
kg Hg in the EU-27. This calculation is based on each lamp’s
emission of 0.86 mg Hg during its use and end-of-life phases.
Similarly, 353 million CFLi units with an emission of 4.51 mg
Hg/lamp were sold resulting in a total release of 1592 kg Hg.
The higher emission per CFLi unit (4.51 mg/unit) is mainly due
to the end-of-life phase (3.2 mg/unit) in which it is assumed
that only 20% are recycled. The total Hg release for all lamp
types in 2007 was 5264 kg Hg.
Table 2: Hg emissions and sales per lamp type in the EU 27
The VITO (2009) report is unclear about the inclusion of
possible Hg release during the production phase of the lamps in
the assessment. Considering the industrial and local nature of
lamp production, the SCHER
assumes that these potential Hg emissions will be strictly
controlled and managed.