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New logos to identify mercury in screens

Europe – Technology industry body DIGITALEUROPE together with the UK’€™s Waste & Resources Action Programme (WRAP) have launched two new logos for use by TV and computer manufacturers to help identify screens containing mercury.

Mercury is used in backlit screens containing cold cathode fluorescent lamps (CCFLs). As part of the ongoing revision of EU regulations, they are gradually being replaced by other safer technologies; however, CCFL screens will continue to be disposed of by consumers for at least another decade.

Manufacturers are being offered a choice of logos: one identifies screens containing mercury; and the other denotes those that are mercury-free. They use the chemical symbol for mercury, namely Hg. ‘The logos will help those collecting and recycling these products at end of life,’ explains Sylvie Feindt, leader of DIGITALEUROPE’s environment policy group.

There are economic as well as environmental benefits, notes WRAP representative Lucy Cooper. ‘Separating screens containing mercury will allow for easier extraction of valuable elements in mercury-free screens, and it may also reduce treatment costs as only those screens containing CCFL backlights will need to be transported and treated as hazardous,’ she explains. Currently, all televisions and monitors are considered hazardous as they may contain mercury.

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