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Identifying Lamps that Contain Mercury

"Mercury Use in Lighting" [PDF] is a Fact Sheet prepared by IMERC that summarizes the use of mercury in lighting devices, such as fluorescent lamps, automobile headlights, and neon signs. The Fact Sheet covers all the types of lamps that contain mercury in the individual device; the total amount of mercury in all of the devices that were sold as new in the U.S. in 2001 and 2004; mercury lamp recycling/disposal; and non-mercury alternatives.

The following types of lamps contain mercury.

Straight Fluorescent Bulbs (such as T8s and T12s) and Black Lights
Straight Fluorescent Lamps and Black Light

U-Style and Circular Fluorescent Bulbs
U-Style and Circular Fluorescent Lamps

Compact Fluorescent Lamps (CFLs)
Compact Fluorescent Bulbs
CFLs are commonly used in homes as energy saving lighting.

High Intensity Discharge (HID) Lamps
There are three types of HID lamps:

  • Mercury Vapor Lamps
    Mercury Vapor Bulbs
  • High Pressure Sodium Lamps
    High Pressure Sodium Bulbs
  • Metal Halide Lamps
    Metal Halide Bulbs

HID lamps are commonly used in security, outdoor and warehouse lighting. HID lighting is also becoming popular for indoor use in commercial settings and in vehicle headlamps. (Click here for additional information on HID headlamps)

Ultraviolet Lamps
Ultraviolet Germicidal Lamps   Ultraviolet Aquarium Lamps
UV lamps are frequently used for germicidal purposes, such as in water and air purifying. They are also used in tanning salons.

Neon lamps
Straight Neon Lamps   Neon Aligator Lamp



Last Modified 08/25/2020

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