3.3 Question C
Assess the risk to the
environment from the
mercury liberated upon
disposal of CFLs, taking into account the above-mentioned limit
of 5 mg mercury per CFL, the requirements for separate
collection of the CFLs and for removal of the mercury from the
collected CFLs. Would the risk be significantly reduced by
strengthening these requirements?
In 3.2 the SCHER
concluded that environmental risks due to use and disposal of
CFLs are unlikely.
To assess the effect of separate collection (and removal of Hg
from the collected Hg - i.e. recycling) and a reduced Hg content
of the CFLs on the total Hg release into the environment,
different scenarios (Table 3). In the exposure assessment
performed in 3.2, it was assumed that each CFL unit contained
4.5 mg and that 20% of the CFLi units were recycled. Using this
scenario and the 2007 sales data, this calculation resulted in
an Hg emission of 1592 kg in the EU-27 area. Increasing the
recycling efficiency to 100% will result in 71% less Hg being
released (reduced from 1592 to 462 kg /y).
A 50% reduction in the Hg content (to 2.25 mg) of the CFL
(combined with 20% recycling) will decrease the Hg emission to
Table 3: Effect different recycling efficiency and Hg content
of the CFL on the total environmental release of Hg.
As indicated above, present use and disposal of CFLs are
unlikely to pose environmental risks. Separate collection of the
CFLs and removal of the
mercury from the collected
CFLs will reduce Hg emission (Table 3).