Energy Conservation & Efficiency

Environment Washington testifies in support of clean lighting

Washington proposes phasing out mercury-containing flourescent lights. We think that's a good idea.

Toxic threats

Pam Clough | TPIN

On Monday, Jan. 23, Environment Washington Advocate Pam Clough testified in support of phasing out mercury-containing lightbulbs and updating the state’s product stewardship recycling program for lighting to include all lights.

We’ve known for a long time that mercury is a powerful neurotoxin that threatens our health and the environment. Fortunately, Washington passed a statewide recycling program for mercury containing lights 13 years ago. Despite this, improper disposal of mercury-containing products-  like fluorescent lights- continues to pollute the environment and impact workers in our solid waste systems.

LEDs light bulbs now provide an excellent alternative to mercury containing lights and have many benefits.  They’re cost-effective, they cut energy use by about half compared with fluorescent lamps, and they don’t contain mercury!

By switching to LEDS:

  • Washingtonians could save more than $83 million dollars annually on their utility bills by 2030. 
  • We could avoid 303 pounds of mercury waste (enough to contaminate 15 billion gallons of water, more than double the amount of water in Lake Union)
  • We could avoid the release of 915,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide per year, which is about the equivalent of 197,000 gas cars driven for a year.

This bill is a common sense policy that phases out mercury containing lights- which LED’s make possible with ample benefit to consumers and the environment – and transitions the state’s product stewardship program to responsibly manage the end-of-life of all types of lights.

We encourage the House Environment committee to support and advance HB1185. Write to your legislator today if you support clean lighting standards too!

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