Mercury lamps used for water disinfection now face regional bans beginning as soon as 2020
By James Peterson
The Minamata Convention on Mercury, now ratified by 92 countries and led by the United Nations, is an international treaty established to protect human health and the environment by eliminating the use of mercury in commercial and industrial processes, with new regulations starting as soon as 2020.
Mercury is currently present in small compact flourescent lamps (mostly used in homes), linear flourescent lamps (mostly used in offices, commercial or industrial facilities) and high intensity discharge lamps (e.g. high pressure mercury vapor lamps (HPMVs) used for street lighting and sports goods).
The Minamata Convention on Mercury provides policy and technical guidance on alternative technologies which are:
Scientifically or technically practical
Reliability is ensured
No negative environmental, health, and consumer safety impacts from substitution
Member nations, which include the United States, the European Union, and China, are working to build structured phase-out regulations which ease economic and safety impacts of transitioning.
UVC LEDs: The Alternative for Mercury Lamps
With policy makers and industry closely watching economic conditions, UVC LEDs are the leading transition technology offering both the performance and cost to enable stricter regulations on the use of mercury UV lamps.
The Minamata Convention calls for banning the import, export and manufacture of mercury-containing lamps by 2020.