Mercury is an elemental neurotoxin commonly found in fluorescent lighting, non-digital switches and HVAC controls.
What Can I Do On My Project?
• Select low-mercury fluorescent lamps and mercury-free lighting options.
• Specify Restriction of Hazardous Substances Directive (RoHS)-compliant controls, wire, cable, electronic and electrical equipment, including lighting fixtures.
The European RoHS restricts the use of six hazardous materials (including mercury, lead, and cadmium) in the manufacture of electronic and electrical equipment.
• Support our clients’ mercury reduction efforts.
During planning discuss the client’s recycling program and mercury clean-up and disposal procedures. Though mercury-containing medical devices are common in older healthcare facilities, many hospitals have implemented mercury reduction programs as safer options have become available.
• Set tight goals for electricity use.
Mercury is released when coal is burned, so each kilowatt hour saved is a reduction in emissions which are hazardous to human health.
• Inhalation of mercury vapors occur when mercury is spilled or products that contain mercury break and expose mercury to the air.
• Consumption of contaminated fish is a common cause of mercury poisoning. Fish are contaminated by mercury released into the environment by the burning of coal for electricity. The U.S. EPA has published consumption limits and advises women of child-rearing age and children younger than 15 to avoid certain species.
Adults, children, and developing fetuses are at risk from exposure. Associated human health risks include:
• Impairment of neurological and reproductive systems
• Elevated risk of birth defects
• Disruption of growth and development