Section II of this report estimated mercury-containing lamps currently contribute 50 kg Hg/year, or about 3% of the total anthropogenic load and less than 2% of the load from all sources. Compact fluorescent lamps made up about a third of the mercury load from lamps, or about 1% of the anthropogenic total and about 0.5 % of the total from all sources.
Future use of mercury-containing lamps is uncertain, and will be affected by such things as future government policy and the price of lamps, including any further subsidy schemes that EECA might introduce. Ten-year predictions for mercury-containing lamps have therefore been estimated for high, medium and low use scenarios.
Using the high CFL use scenario as conservative (the scenario also assuming no change in the average mercury content of each lamp22), the total mercury load from mercury-containing lamps is expected to be a small increase (2%) over the present, to about 51 kg Hg/year, the increase in CFL use being off-set by a reduction in the use of certain types of HIDs. If the medium use scenario is used, a small decrease in mercury for all lamps is forecast over the next ten years.
For CFLs alone, the high-use scenario results in a 44% increase in mercury from these lamps from 18 to 26 kg Hg/year, but no change for the medium-use scenario. For LFLs alone, the 10-year prediction suggests an increase of 21%, from 14 to 18 kg Hg/year, while HIDs decrease 61 %, from 18 to 7 kg Hg/year.
In 2018, mercury-containing lamps are expected to contribute between 1.4 and 2.4% of the total anthropogenic mercury load, depending on which CFL use scenario is chosen, and about 1% of total mercury load. CFLs alone would contribute about 1.2% of the anthropogenic load using the worst-case CFL mercury content, and less than 1% for a more likely scenario.
Overall, the contribution from mercury-containing lamps is predicted to be small, with only a very modest change to the mercury load over the next ten years even for the worst case.
22 This is a worst case. It is perhaps more likely that mercury in each lamp will in fact reduce as technology improves.