The lack of energy-saving lamps in the recycling system may become a "source of pollution"

At the beginning of last year, Foshan Lighting Gaoming Branch workers’ “mercury exceeded” incident caused strong social concern. Although the incident was better handled by the government and enterprises, the mercury pollution problem of energy-saving lamps could not be ignored.

Energy-saving lamps are abandoned on the streets and are broken into pieces by vehicles.

Because the problem of mercury pollution in energy-saving lamps is not only in the production process, but also in the use and recycling process. Statistics show that an energy-saving lamp tube contains an average of 0.5 milligrams of mercury, which can cause pollution of about 180 tons of water. Under the background of large-scale promotion of energy-saving lamps in Guangdong Province and our city, this hidden danger is even more serious. If the recycling system is absent, these energy-saving lamps may cause serious soil and water pollution problems after being discarded.
A few days ago, 152 workers from Foshan Lighting Co., Ltd. planned to end the first stage of mercury treatment and set foot on their way home. In the “mercury exceeded” incident at the end of last year, they were diagnosed as “suspected occupational chronic mercury poisoning” and “immunized mercury”.
For Foshan Lighting, this "mercury exceeds the standard" storm is finally about to calm down. However, for the city and the entire lighting industry, the controversy and doubts about the mercury pollution of energy-saving lamps have just begun. With the implementation of the large-scale promotion of energy-saving lamps in Guangdong Province and the city, the public and environmentalists began to worry about the environmental risks behind them.
Incident: "Mercury pollution" doubts spread Although the "Fertilism exceeded the standard" incident, the company Foshan Lighting Gaoming Branch has made many remedial measures, but this incident has triggered a public awareness of the issue of mercury pollution in energy-saving lamps. They are worried that since they also contain mercury, I wonder if the energy-saving lamps used in their homes are safe?
The Zhuyuan Community of Hecheng Street in Gaoming District promoted more than 8,000 energy-saving lamps at the end of last year. It was more than twice as many as last year. I heard that energy-saving lamps may cause mercury pollution. Mr. Li, the cadre of the community committee, could not help but frown. What should we do if we can't use it?"
The concern of this community cadre is not just a personal "wonderful whimsy." In some websites of our city, some netizens even launched a campaign to resist energy-saving lamps. They believe that when the government promotes energy-saving lamps, it ignores the "mercury pollution" and the recycling system is not perfect. In a forum on Gaoming, in response to the reminder of the “dusthawk” and “do not throw energy-saving lamps”, netizens have questioned: “Please tell me where to throw it!”

Enterprise: Energy-saving lamps must contain mercury. In fact, energy-saving lamps contain mercury. This is no secret. According to the current lighting production process, in the production of energy-saving lamps, toxic heavy metals, mercury, must be used. Chen Guofang, the person in charge of Foshan Lighting Co., Ltd., said: "If you don't use mercury, it is not an energy-saving lamp."
So, why do you have to add mercury in the energy-saving lamp production process? How does mercury work in energy-saving lamps? A lighting company technician who asked not to be named said that the energy-saving lamps mainly use low-pressure mercury vapor to radiate ultraviolet rays during discharge, so that the phosphor emits visible light. In daily use, mercury does not generally leak from a closed lamp, but after the energy-saving lamp is broken, mercury will evaporate. Although mercury volatilized by one or two energy-saving lamps does not cause mercury poisoning. However, if a large amount of mercury leaks into the soil and groundwater, it will unwittingly cause water and soil pollution.
Mercury pollution has formed a consensus in the lighting industry. Foshan Lighting revealed that it has introduced equipment to deal with waste energy-saving lamps in production, and said that the government has established a social recycling mechanism. Wan Xiaocheng, deputy general manager of Guangdong Zhaoxin Group, said that because he knew mercury pollution, he abandoned the energy-saving lamps and turned to the LED project.

Experts: The recycling system is still missing. For the mercury pollution that energy-saving lamps may bring, environmental experts are worried. On this phone, the reporter interviewed Liu Hong, an expert at the Energy Research Institute of the National Development and Reform Commission. The analysis said that an energy-saving lamp tube contains an average of 0.5 mg of mercury (only a few brand-name products can achieve about 0.25 mg), and theoretically, 1 mg of mercury infiltrates. Underground, it will cause pollution of about 360 tons of water. According to this calculation, the mercury contained in an energy-saving lamp may contaminate 90 tons to 180 tons of water. In other words, if more than 8,000 energy-saving lamps in the Zhuyuan community are destroyed and discarded in the future, it may pollute 720,000 tons of water. This figure is equivalent to the 10-day water supply of a medium-sized water plant in our city.
"Although the mercury leaked from the waste energy-saving lamps will not completely penetrate into the water and soil, since we know that there may be pollution, we should try our best to avoid it." Liu Hong said, "At present, most places in China do not have the recycling of waste energy-saving lamps. system".
Regrettably, the city is precisely the "most places". According to the investigation by the reporter, after the large-scale promotion of energy-saving lamps, the city did not establish a corresponding recycling system for waste energy-saving lamps. Liu Hong appealed that while the state and local governments subsidize the sale of energy-saving lamps, they should also subsidize the waste recycling of energy-saving lamps and encourage enterprises to actively recycle. "At present, most companies do not recycle used energy-saving lamps, mainly because the recycling cost is too high!"

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