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Corner of TabFlorida's Definitions for Mercury-Containing Lamps Corner of TabHighlights

Mercury-Containing Lamps (MCLs) Including Fluorescent Lamps:

MCLs include primarily fluorescent lamps of all types, high intensity discharge (HID) lamps (e.g., metal halide, mercury vapor and high pressure sodium), and some neon lights. All of these lamps contain mercury in varying quantities. MCLs from households and other residential sources are not included in the following definition under Florida law and thus are exempt from Florida's regulations covering MCLs.

Fluorescent lamps shown in a variety of shapes and sizes.
Photo: Fluorescent lamps come in a variety of shapes and sizes Shown here (from left/top to right/bottom) are U-tubes, straight and 2 sizes of compact fluorescent lamps. Fluorescent lamps may also be circular in shape.

Under Florida's law for MCLs and MCDs, Section 403.7186, F.S., "Environmentally sound management of mercury-containing devices and lamps," MCLs are defined as "any type of high or low pressure lighting device which contains mercury and generates light through the discharge of electricity either directly or through a fluorescing coating. The term lamp includes, but is not limited to, fluorescent lamps, mercury lamps, metal halide lamps, and high pressure sodium lamps. The term excludes mercury-containing lamps used in residential applications and disposed of as part of ordinary household waste.

Types of high intensity discharge lamps.
Photo: High intensity discharge (HID) lamps: (from left) metal halide lamp; arc tube from mercury vapor lamp (outer glass globe removed); mercury vapor lamp.

Mercury-Containing Devices (MCDs):

MCDs include mercury-containing thermometers, thermostats, switches and relays, manometers, other devices that contain liquid mercury, and mercury-containing ampoules that have been removed from these devices or from MCLs in accordance with the the US EPA's Universal Waste Rule (UWR) thermostat ampoule removal standards (40 CFR 273.13 or 273.33). MCDs do not include batteries or lamps.

opened thermostat showing 4 mercury-containing ampoules.
Photo: Thermostat showing 4 ampoules each containing about 1.5 grams (a drop about the size of a pencil erasure) of mercury.

Under Section 403.7186, F.S., "Environmentally sound management of mercury-containing devices and lamps," MCDs are defined as "any electrical product, or other device, excluding batteries and lamps, that is determined by the department as proven to release mercury into the environment.

Two views of a boat bilge pump float switch which contains mercury. Two views of a boat bilge pump float switch which contains mercury.
Photos: Boat bilge pump float switch - (left) side view, and (right) top view with some of the plastic switch housing removed to show the glass switch ampoule containing about 1 gram (a drop about the size of a pencil eraser) of mercury.

Last updated: November 04, 2016

Permitting and Compliance Assistance Program #850-245-8705 MS #4565


Division of Waste Management #850-245-8705 MS #4500
2600 Blair Stone Road, Tallahassee, Florida 32399-2400

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