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Report urges curbing pernicious side of energy-saving products


08:06, October 30, 2012

BEIJING, Oct. 29 (Xinhua) -- China should increase public awareness of the toxicity in used energy-saving products, according to an investigateive report.

The report carried by the Economic Information, an economy news daily under Xinhua, said that 0.5 milligram of mercury, the average amount contained in a used energy-saving fluorescent tube is enough to pollute 180 tonnes of water and surrounding soil.

In 2008, energy-saving lights were included in a national list of hazardous waste. People are aware of their energy-saving function without knowing much about the poisonous dangers, said experts.

Broken energy-saving tubes will lead to seriously excessive levels of mercury content in the air. A human being's nervous centralis will be damaged, once the mercury is in the body.

Jin Min, associate professor with the Beijing-based Renmin University of China, said that using energy-saving lamps has boosted China's energy conservation and emission reduction.

"But the recovery of those lamps has become a glaring problem in handling electronic waste," she added.

The "green lights" project, launched in 2008, has led to the use of 150 million energy-saving lighting products nationwide. This has helped reduce 29 million tonnes of carbon dioxide and 290,000 tonnes of sulfur dioxide.

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