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Projector Lamps & Mercury

by PLUS Vision Corporation

"Lamp in this product contains mercury. Dispose of according local, state, or federal laws."

You may have seen a label like this pop up on your new projector's shipping box. What does this mean and why is it important to you?

Small, sophisticated projector lamps of today, capable of emitting intense light contain a slight trace of the element mercury. As a technicality, any object containing trace amounts of mercury is required by the federal government to be labeled properly for identification and disposal. For example, we are familiar with the care and concern associated with school laboratory thermometers containing this element.

Common "Mercury-Arc" lamps contain this element at opposite endpoints of the arc filament inside the bulb itself. Electricity reaches, or arcs, from one endpoint to the other, activating gases and focusing light into the projection beam. Mercury is a naturally occurring element that is present throughout the environment. Concentrations in the air are usually low and of little direct concern.

State-of-the-art engineering processes ensure modern, secure lamp enclosures that are highly unlikely to leak. Also, when replacing the lamp, no part containing the mercury will be in direct contact with your hands. However, caution should always be exercised when handling projector lamp assemblies due to their fragile and sensitive composition.

Proper disposal of your expired projector lamp:

Do not throw the lamp in the trash. Many states now have strict regulations regarding the disposal of mercury containing devices. You will need to contact your state's environmental management agency to find out what is required. Illegal disposal of hazardous waste can carry heavy fines. Some states have mercury pickup programs. To find out about your state's mercury disposal program, contact your environmental management agency or the nearest EPA district.

For contact information on mercury disposal through the Environmental Protection Agency, call toll-free 1-800-424-9346 or use their online contact form.

For more facts and information about portable digital projectors, check out the PLUS Frequently Asked Questions.